Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Return of the King

Far be it from me to disagree with the masses, but I just watched the Return of the King Extended Edition, and I found it disappointing. I did thoroughly enjoy Peter Jackson’s creation of the wonderful trilogy, but I do believe he missed it. Or at least destroyed it in order to make it more movie friendly.

The new scenes that did not make it into the movie were actually well cut out scenes. In the new scenes he destroyed Sauroman by making him on the verge of helping out Gandalf when Worm Tongue kills him. The book have Sauroman evil to the end and vengeful in his destruction of the Shire just to get even. He completely ruined Faramir in the second movie along with Treebread. Not to mention the neglect of song that is so prominent in the books. A real disservice to the movie. And in this movie I believe he ruins Sam. Sam actually turns his back on Frodo and starts going back down the stairs. He also makes Sam hesitate in giving back the ring when he rescues Frodo. There is no hint of this in the book. I was Sad he never made Sam put on the ring, as he did in the book. Perhaps that was artistic, but I believe it was because Jackson tried to change the story to make Frodo the hero rather than Sam.

Yes, I believe in the book the only real hero is Sam. Sam is the purest of the pure. Frodo gives in at the end. Frodo was wrong about Smeagol. Sam wore the ring, and did not have any ill effects, none at all. He freely gives it back. He stays devoted to Frodo the whole time, and in the appendix to the book, after his wife’s death, he too travels to the Grey Havens and over the sea. In the end, it is only Sam who embodies all that is good in loyalty, honor, friendship, and courage. Anyway, the movie is worth getting, but Jackson does mess up what is a truly great story. His inability to end the movie and his fake endings are still as annoying as they were in the theater, but now you can skip scenes if you want.