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Oh the controversy!
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Apr 4 2011, 1:29am

Post #76 of 81 (198 views)
Book Faramir and film Faramir are both good judges of charactar [In reply to] Can't Post

His judgment in the film is complicated more by his grief for Boromir and his desire to for his father to think better of him, but in the end his observations of Frodo and Sam are what decides him. David Wenham, IMO, did a wonderful job of conveying his evolving judgment of Frodo and Sam, primarily through his facial expressions.

"The Ring is dead. Right There." I take to mean the Ring will not seem all that powerful to the audience if it can be resisted without a struggle. Not the same as being irresistible. Like heroin, a person's ability to resist the Ring is affected by knowledge, circumstance and charactar.

Whether that was an accurate assessment of the audience, once they took that approach to the Ring, the needs of the story dictated that Faramir could not just blithely say "I wouldn't pick the thing up if it was lying by the roadside." Faramir takes Frodo to Osgiliath because to do so is consistent with their take on the power of the Ring. The action meets the needs of the story told in movie form.

We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!


Apr 4 2011, 3:43am

Post #77 of 81 (204 views)
"Blithely" is not a word I would choose. [In reply to] Can't Post

I tend to think the guy who wrote the story got it right. The Ring was no weaker in his conception than in the movie maker's (and it was a good deal more consistent). And he invented invented Faramir to be the example of the true Faithful Numenorean, to counterbalance guys like Boromir and Denethor who could leave you thinking these guys are all bums. It's sad that so many people like PJ and Co. as well as his defenders mistake true nobility for offhand comments.

No one defending the movie Faramir ever seems to want to answer the question of why he allows Frodo to continue to carry the Ring once it is discovered. There are any number of ways leaving him with the Ring could cause trouble, even if he just chucks it into the woods and makes you hunt for hours. Of course he would take it immediately!

But then Frodo couldn't offer it to the Nazgul and PJ's ad lib Act 3 goes up in smoke.


Apr 4 2011, 5:43am

Post #78 of 81 (184 views)
Faramir and Frodo [In reply to] Can't Post

You misunderstand me if you think I consider Tolkien's version "wrong" or Faramir of the book to be a lesser charactar than the Faramir of the film. My initial reaction to the film was to cringe at the interplay between Faramir and Frodo. I felt it diminished both charactars, indeed that it did violence to them.

Having, like many here, read the books dozens of times before the films came out, I came to the films with a very strong attachment to the charactars as I already knew them. Though I was very happy with much of the films, there were a number of things in it that irked me, most of them being charactar alterations. Like, who the heck are these strangers? Where are the real charactars, the ones I know? There still many things about the film that irk me, and until we started this exchange the episode we are discussing was one of them, though to a lesser degree than initially.

Over repeated viewings of the film, re-readings of the books, and listening to the commentaries, my perceptions have changed. In viewing the films I have tried to ask myself, does this bother me because it's unbelievable or because I don't want to give up my attachment to the charactars as I know them? Your comments inspired me to go back and watch the scenes without, and then with, the writers and actors commentary. And so I have come to the conclusion it all works for me except for one thing; Frodo's lie about Gollum. Otherwise, I am finding PJ et als charactarizations of Faramir and Frodo to be credible and interesting alternatives to Tolkien's. That doesn't make them better; I just think each works well within it's context.

I also believe I, as did others, explained why I found it credible that Faramir allowed Frodo to continue to carry the Ring, in fact, I did so twice. I just didn't succeed at convincing you.

You are correct in saying Faramir in the book was not being blithe in saying he wouldn't pick up the Ring if he found it by the highway; he was, as you stated, being true to his charactar as a noble Numenorean. If the filmmakers had not elected to exaggerate the effects of the Ring in the way they did, his behavior would have been perfectly credible. I'm of the opinion they could have probably pulled that off, but once they took that path, they had to make Faramir more vulnerable to the Ring as well, and those words from him would not have been credible.

We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!


Apr 4 2011, 10:49am

Post #79 of 81 (190 views)
Perhaps I'm not being clear... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't mean why does Faramir allow Frodo to carry the Ring at the end of the movie. Why does Faramir allow Frodo to carry the Ring when he first discovers it? The natural thing to do would be to take it right then and there, if only because Frodo might toss it in the pool. Instead he lets Frodo carry it around his neck back to Osgiliath. Why? Because without it, there's no Act 3.

And yeah, I guess some of Faramir's actions are credible -- if he's not the guy he is in the books, which is where all this started. But you're right that no argument has yet convinced me that a leader of men at war who has just seen someone offer the ultimate weapon to the enemy would let that person trot unguarded back to enemy territory. At that point it's just too big a risk.

The scene in the book would have been great to have seen dramatized. I'm sure the actors would've done a grat job with it, particularly Astin as the stumbling Sam and Wendham doing Faramir's gentle irony when he realizes his situation.

Arwen Skywalker

Apr 7 2011, 3:13am

Post #80 of 81 (164 views)
a very late response [In reply to] Can't Post

To me, it's actually an important point that Faramir still allows Frodo to carry the Ring when he first discovers it. This post offers one reason. To expand on that, since Faramir intends for the Ring to be a gift for Daddy, he only needs to keep Frodo as a prisoner long enough to last until Minas Tirith. He doesn't actually need to physically seize it to achieve that end. Second, it's not natural to do something right there and then when you're conflicted about it. If you pay attention to when he declares that the Ring will go to Gondor, he sounds sure of himself but his eyes give away a different story. The topic about how conflicted Faramir was came up a few times in the movie boards but I don't think you were around yet when they happened. I guarantee people will discuss it again when SCOD comes back to TTT but I think that will take a long time. And actually, you're the first book-firster I know of to take issue with Faramir allowing Frodo to keep carrying the Ring to Osgiliath. I don't think you're familiar with Farfromhome's posts but she says many critics of movie-Faramir don't seem to notice that there's a difference between his actions with Frodo and taking the Ring for yourself. I can't say I'm 100% certain what was the screenwriters' intention with this but I'm sure that building up Act 3 was not the only purpose.


Apr 7 2011, 10:46am

Post #81 of 81 (226 views)
More Faramir and Frodo [In reply to] Can't Post

Letting Frodo keep the Ring on the road back to Minas Tirith is too big a risk for someone as smart as Faramir should be to take. He's an experienced commander and knows that in war all kinds of things can go wrong. The only safe place for it to be would be right in his own pocket (with contingency plans amond his officers about what to do with it if something happens to him). Frodo could cause all kinds of trouble with it -- and he does, trying to give it to the enemy at the first opportunity. Not too bright.

So why is the supposedly smart and well-trained captain acting so foolishly? Now it's because he's conflicted. In the scene in question you're reading something different in his eyes than I am. All I see is a little boy elated at a chance to get daddy's approval, a child's motivation. Not bad motivation for a movie character, but not Faramir, who is supposed to be a man. Modern storytelling that it's full of pop psychology about people trying to satisfy their childhood neuroses, so it's not surprising to me that this is the motivation the screenwriters would come up with. Tolkien could imagine characters that were adults, though, making decisions that go beyond personal satisfaction into self-sacrifice for the benefit of the whole, so he wrote Faramir as a man.

And I'm far from the first book-firster to take issue with Faramir letting Frodo carry the Ring, just the first one here. This conversation has gone on in many places far from this board over the last decade.

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