The Hobbit: Soul-less Brilliance

What do I tell someone who’s see the LOTR trilogy about The Hobbit? And what do I tell someone who hasn’t seen the LOTR trilogy about The Hobbit?

The truth is – Hobbit is a “right” movie. The scale at which it is made, the digi-work, the camera angles, the sets, the colours and the … Brilliant. But, the movie has no soul. It’s a perfectly designed robot that resembles human body.

The movie starts a tad too slow while it labours through the initial sequence where thirteen dwarves are supposed to be introduced. Yet, the three dwarves that you really remember at the end are Dwalin, Kili and Thorin. Even Balin’s impression is a little weak. Balin finds his place once the party moves into the mountains as he tells Thorin’s story. But, Thorin, while being Aragorn-ish, is not exactly Aragorn. Viggo Mortenses drove Aragorn’s quest to your heart like a dagger. Maybe over the second and third movie a lot more. And I hope Thorin gets there as well. Unfortunately, Gloin (the one you’ve tracked from Gimli, Son of Gloin) does not get much face time. Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Fili etc are just mumbled jumbled names that you won’t even catch. And now I come to the problem no. 1. Gandalf. A glowing Gandalf of a story 60 years later (LOTR) is replaced by a faded Gandalf here. Ian Mckellan carries the movie on his shoulders, but he does not look like the same Gandalf. He is a fatigued version of himself. And I don’t blame him. Martin Freeman as Bilbo is delightful, though. His awkwardness is pitch perfect.

Whenever I think of The Fellowship Of The Ring, I remember that one shot sequence where Arwen is being chased by the Nazgul horse riders as she’s trying to save Bilbo and enter Rivendell. The entire sequence is phenomenalobalistic. I kept looking for something as new as that. The Orcs and Mordor – they all look like great paintings that you’ve seen before. The novelty is missing. Mr. Jackson – you’ve made a perfectly beautiful soul-less movie. And it makes me wonder if they were all right – that you sold your soul when you agreed to do these three Hobbit movies.

– Link to ‘that’ video

And that’s the last question on my mind – WHY THREE? If all three LOTR books deserved a movie a piece, why does Hobbit get three movies? Is there anything more here than encashing the success of LOTR? Or, despite what I felt was a reasonably sluggish first instalment, there will be enough to keep part two and three interesting and well paced?

Now then – I have been critical too long. The movie, as I mentioned, is reasonably perfect in its making. All the dwarves and Mr. Baggins are perfect. But the one who has really killed it is the digitalised Andy Serkis as Gollum/Smeagol. Gollum is my pick of the lot this time. What menacing details! And my bad for not mentioning that one stand-out scene. The riddle scene between Smeagol and Bilbo is brilliant. Only if there were more of such well crafted scenes.

End note – Watch it for you’ve loved the LOTR series. Or, watch it because you missed watching LOTR in the theatres. Its a well made movie. But, it’s not Jackson’s best. Jackson heights have not been surpassed.

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About Amit Das
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

4 Responses to The Hobbit: Soul-less Brilliance

  1. Jandy says:

    The pain of the franchised trilogy – not sure if it’s worse for the maker or the viewer.

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