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Fri, 26 Dec 2003
The Return of the King
Thanks to Julie's mom, we were able to go out and see "The Return of the King" this afternoon. Getting babysitting time to go see a 3.5 hour movie is a no mean feat, and I was very grateful to get the chance to go. It's also true that sitting through a 3.5 hour movie in a theater is no mean feat either.

On the whole, I was very pleased with the movie. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the only movie trilogy that I can think of where every movie was good. After the disappointment of the Matrix trilogy (yes, I was disappointed in the end), I appreciated the quality of The Return of the King, even more. In the end, I was pleased with the movies. I feel that Jackson was able to capture the essence of the story while making the necessary accommodations for the viewing audience. The only way that I can see substantial improvements being made would require several additional hours of film, which I think is impractical.

There was one small disappointment for me in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. It has to do with the arrival of the black ships, at a moment when the odds have turned against the foes of Sauron. In the movie, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas jump out of the ships, and the only army that you see is the army of the dead. here's how Tolkien described it.

And lo! even as he (Eomer) laughed at despair he looked out again on the black ships, and he lifted up his sword to defy them

And then wonder took him, and a great joy; and he cast his sword up into the sunlight and sang as he caught it. And all eyes followed his gaze, and behold! upon the foremost ship a great standard broke, and the wind displayed it as she turned towards the Harlond. There flowered a White Tree, and that was for Gondor; ut Seven Stars were about it, and a high crown above it, the signs of Elendil that no lord had borne for years beyond count. And the stars flamed in the sunlight, for they wrought of gems by Arwen daughter of Elrond; and the crown was bright in the morning, for it was wrought of mithril and gold

Thus came Aragorn son of Arathorn, Elessar, Isildur's heir, out of the Paths of the Dead, borne upon a wind from the Sea to the kingdom of Gondor; and the mirth of the Rohrrim was a torrent of laughter and a flashing of swords, and the joy and wonder of the City was a music of trumpets and a ringing of bells.

This is one of my favorite moments in the books, the moment when Aragorn's identity and return are announced to all of Middle Earth. It's a shame they felt it needed to be omitted. After all, the title of the movie is "The Return of the King" -- a theme I've been thinking about since the story of Christmas also foretells the return of a King.

I was very pleased with the handling of another of my favorite scenes: Eowyn and Merry's role in felling the Lord of the Nazgul. For the most part I'm happy with the way that Jackson expanded Eowyn's role in the story.

This brings us to the end of 2003's festival of trilogy endings. Maybe now we can use those precious babysitting hours on something besides movies.

[23:59] | [culture/film] | # | TB | F | G | 3 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
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