Monday, September 19, 2011

Urge to scream... rising

What is it with the annoying Tolkien posts this week? Here's the latest, an interview with actress Evangeline Lilly on her role in The Hobbit, courtesy of SFX :

Tauriel is a new character in the mythology so as a book purist yourself that must be frightening to ponder how fans will react to your part?

“Yeah! I am very concerned to this day that people will watch the film and I’ll be the black mark on the film. I know how adamant the purists are and I’m one of them! That said, upon reading The Hobbit again, as an adult, I can see why additional characters were needed to round out the story as an adaptation – especially female characters! The Hobbit didn’t include female characters at all and was a very linear story, a book for children, really. What Peter, Fran (Walsh) and Philippa (Boyens) have done is all in perfect keeping with Tolkien’s world, while adding a third dimension to an otherwise very two-dimensional story.”

I'm glad to know that after 75 years of near universal acclaim, adding a female character has dramatically improved The Hobbit (which is after all just a flawed, silly book for children ).

Middle-Earth has always felt so flat and two dimensional in The Hobbit, but I guess I never realized it ... until now. I frankly don't know how I've been enjoying it all these years. Thanks for setting the record straight, Lilly!

11 comments:

Fred said...

Brian,

I guess this should have been expected, considering the gender manipulations that occurred in LotR.

The PC police have struck again.

If I do see it, I will wait until it's out on DVD and get it from the local library. If the library proves resistant to its charms, I will rent it from Qwikster, as it is now called. I certainly don't want to encourage them by giving them big bucks.

Taran said...

So, a book written for children is obviously flawed because it's a book written for children?

Oh for the love of Crom...

Lagomorph Rex said...

well you should have known this seeing as PJ's binary mistress Frallipa was involved..

Thankfully however this character is shaping up to be FAR less annoying than the rumoured Itaril that Saoirise Roanan was going to be playing..

Brian Murphy said...

In this case, it's not so much the gender manipulation that bugs me, it's the blithe way she talks about improving a novel that needs no improvements. I'm a fan of the Jackson LOTR films, but they are at their weakest when they introduce new material. See Aragorn over the cliff, the green ghost army on the Pelennor, etc.

Taran: Completely agreed. What's wrong with a book for children if it's a good book? It's not supposed to be A Song of Ice and Fire. The world could use more bumbling dwarves and singing.

Laffe said...

I agree with all that's said above, but to be honest put yourself in her shoes. She has to both defend her part in the movie while not aggravating the book fans, but most of all she can't say anything negative about the film. Not just because it would be more or less career suicide, but I bet she's even contractually obligated to only say nice things about the film.

It's a strange industry.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Laugh, scream or cry?

Tough choice.

Pericles said...

Or the fourth option--get drunk. Can't deal with this film sober.

Eric D. Lehman said...

Ugh.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

You know, if cast and crew would just say something like, "We added a female character because we think the average moviegoer who only knows Lord of the Rings from the movies wants to see a female character in the film," I'd be fine with it. I mean I don't necessarily agree, but I get the concept. A book isn't a movie and a movie isn't a book. But any statement that they are somehow FIXING Tolkien's mistakes or IMPROVING Tolkien's work with their additions is just asking for trouble.

Dave Cesarano said...

I am tired of all of the fan praise Peter Jackson got for his film versions of The Lord of the Rings. Yes, they were epic, monumental achievements and yes, they were good. But they failed, on a number of crucial points to deliver fully. Many of the decisions where they deviated from the novels were okay--omitting Tom Bombadil, the Barrow Downs, and the Scouring of the Shire weren't bad ideas. However, many deviations were pointless and detracted from the story, or did little to increase the suspense and dramatic tension--Faramir dragging Frodo & Co. to Osgiliath and the warg attack where Aragorn falls off the cliff. And then there were decisions that just totally bollocksed the entire story and turned the film into a shlock horror flick like the rest of Jackson's oeuvre--the flood of skulls in the Dwimorberg.

del Toro would have handled The Hobbit better, in my opinion. Jackson keeps inserting too much of himself into the films--to the detriment of the overall atmosphere, dramatic tension, and story that Tolkien wove.

Gabriele C. said...

Yeah, I get a feeling that PJ and The Scriptscrewers now think they know better what Tolkien intended than Tolkien himself did - success does that to people, alas.