17 January 2012

Return part 2

If Tolkien had meant for the names Sméagol and Déagol to rhyme with beagle, I cannot think why he should have troubled with the accented é. Then, too, it’s clear from the way in which Peter Jackson uses calligraphy in the movies, that heavy metal bands make subtler use of diacritics.
Okay, at last I watched disc 2 of the extended edition of The Return of the King. Quick back-of-the-envelope comments:
I don’t see Viggo Mortensen ever becoming Aragorn; he just acts like Viggo Mortensen. Part of the blame lies with Jackson’s “adaptation” of the character.
One problematic result of Jackson’s tin-eared invention of having Sméagol-Gollum drive a wedge between and Sam and Frodo: after Frodo has sent Sam packing (“Go home, Sam!”), the pass into Mordor which Frodo and Sam required Sméagol-Gollum as a guide in order to find – lo! Sam manages to find on his own, eh?
Since we lose the narrative voice which subtly characterizes Shelob, she is no longer a malevolent intelligence, but simply a 1950s sci-fi movie monster.
The movie fails entirely to convey the psychic weight that Frodo endures in carrying the Ring. Related to this loss is the fact that movie loses all sense of the latent power of the Ring in the taming of Sméagol. Indeed, Gollum seems hardly “tamed” at all, least of all when he screams “Sméagol lied!,” signal testimony to Jackson’s tone-deafness.
That becomes a particular loss on the approach to Sammath Naur. There’s no pitiable side, he’s all Gollum, not the Sméagol-Gollum which Tolkien created.
In Tolkien’s book, the Eye was a supernatural force. In the movie, it’s a sort of Bat Signal atop Barad-dûr.
Many incidents which in Tolkien’s narrative have poetry and nobility, become weird, brief SFX show-pieces in the movie. Such as Éowyn slaying the Lord of the Nazgûl.
Jackson does like to add inauthentic plummets, doesn’t he? First Saruman, and now Denethor.

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