Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Review

The blog has fallen into disrepair and me and Brighton have taken turns in blaming each other like squabbling dwarves (of course like all dwarven brawls, we settled things the hard way- over a big flagon of mead each, or maybe it was a barrel. We don't really recall.)

Anyways, now that the holidays are upon us, I can no longer lay the claim of being a busy lawyer as all my clients have also run off squealing like kids who're expecting Gandalf's fireworks. Brighton though claims the snow is for skiing and merriment on the outside, so sadly you'll have to be content with my postings on the blog for the next few days.

And now to the review of one of the most awaited monumental epic movies to hit the screens since December 17, 2012.

The Hobbit as you can see above shows the indelible Martin Freeman as the quirky almost-nuts lovely Hobbit - Bilbo Baggins. And after the grand success of the LoTR movies, we expected a lot from the Hobbit even though talk of there being too little for 3 movies in a small book was the main cause of concern.

So how does it match up you ask? If you were going into the movie purely from the standpoint of seeing the Hobbit, you are going to be disappointed.  Although, a fair bit of scenes and dialogues are pretty much the same, it is not a true adaptation like the LoTR series.A lot has been changed and much has been added.

However, as a Tolkein world enthusiast and a fantasy nutcase, the Hobbit is a perfect little dream which puts me in a well-knit, slightly dark adventure, where every moment is frenetic and breathtaking. Add to that the charm of seeing things you've seen before like Rivendell, Gandalf calling the eagles and most importantly, Andy Serkis as the Gollum, 60 years before the LoTR series, you actually feel nostalgic about watching a prequel of all things (the irony is classic).

True, some parts do drag a bit and the intro could have been shortened and things like the storm giants seem grandiose yet unnecessary but even Tolkein put in a huge amount of detail in the book, which was mostly walking through woods in nasty unpleasant weather. While descriptions in the book might have held your attention, seeing 10 minutes of that on screen would be tedious.

Adding Arog as an extra antagonist with backstory is a masterstroke in my opinion as is adding Radagast the Brown's expanded role. I'd always wondered about the other wizards and my secret desire is to know more about the other Blue wizards as well, though it's quite unlikely. The Hobbit has been made much darker and gorier than the book to match the earlier series and yet it retains a lot of charm from the book, brought out very effectively by Martin Freeman and the ever awesome Ian Mckellen as Gandalf the Grey. I even cheered for Saruman the White for he was uncorrupted at the time.

All in all, I have no reason to complain and if I could, I would definitely book tickets for the next two installments already, hungry for more. (And I'm going back for 2nd and 3rd helpings of this one before that). Just like a novel, one must watch a movie twice atleast to catch all the little things.

Till then, lets venture to dungeons deep and caverns old! BahRummmm!


  1. I think they should have only broken it into two movies. I was a little disappointed with this first movie. While I enjoyed the time they took to show the dwarfs' personalities, a lot of the other scenes felt unnecessary, like the trip to Rivendale.

    I do love the LOTR and loved the Hobbit too, but it wasn't near as strong as the other movies. I wish I could say it was.

  2. It was an awesome, awesome movie, to be sure. I just loved being back in Middle Earth :) I kinda liked the 'unnecessary' parts; LotR backstory is AWESOME,

  3. I can't say, yet, whether "The Hobbit" films will have the lasting power with me that the LotR trilogy has, but it was certainly an exciting experience to watch the first installment. A lot of visual stunners, an absolutely perfect (to my mind) leading hobbit, dwarven musical numbers, and Riddles in the Dark!

    I'm not sure what more I could have asked for, except perhaps a less heavy-handed use of CGI. Not saying that it was *poor* CGI, just that it was not as much to my personal visual tastes as were the monsters of LotR. (None of the "Hobbit" creatures, for instance, filled me with the exhilaration that my first sighting of the Balrog did.)

    It was an all-around brighter, more vibrantly colorful movie than its predecessors. Dream/fairytale-like, or just Middle Earth before the Shadow fell? We wonders, Precious, we wonders...

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