For Me the Grief is Still Too Near - A lament for Faramir and Eomer
First of all I want to make a couple of things clear. I liked the movie and understand that this is a difficult book to make into a movie. Now that I have said that however I was very disappointed in several things.
I do not understand how Peter Jackson can be incredibly faithful to scenes such as the stewed rabbit scene with Gollum and Sam but at the same time change both personalities of major characters as well as roles.
First, I am disappointed in the changing of Eomer's role in the story. He and Aragorn go on to become close friends and almost brothers in the next book and we see that this relationship is tempered at the battle of Helm's Deep. With the movie Eomer wasn't even there to see Aragorn's bravery and nobility and to recognize that they are in fact kindred spirits.
Eomer was banished in the movie instead of imprisoned as it was in the book. I understand that Jackson changed this to allow Eomer to come back and save those people at Helm's Deep. I do not understand why Jackson with all of the special effects available to did not portray the death of the orcs by the trees as it was written in the book. Tolkien used a subtle message to show that nature holds an ancient power that can be violent when awoke.
Second, I do not like the change to Faramir's character. I have read several reviews on this site and I notice that alot of other fans of the book share this opinion. Faramir was educated and had learned under Gandalf himself. Due to this he was not as liked by his father as his brother Boromir. Tolkien portrays Faramir as noble and educated about history and things such as the ring of power. He is even described as having more of the Númenorean blood in him than any in his family's recent past. Peter Jackson added a scene to allow Aragorn the chance to show his will and resist the ring, but changed the story to show Faramir as weaker and unable to resist the ring which is not accurate or fair to the story. Faramir comes across as weaker than Boromir who at least resisted the ring for days before he succumbed.
As I understand the story Aragorn, Eomer and Faramir become the leaders of the future of Middle-earth. They are very similar characters and have much in common. The changes made by Jackson change this very important element of the story.
Finally, I wonder about the added scenes by Peter Jackson. In the first movie, which I enjoyed immensely and went to see several times, Jackson decided not to show portions of the story that did not move the ring forward. In this movie he added several scenes not from the book that do not move the ring or the story forward. The warg attack and loss and return of Aragorn are unneeded. The trip to Osgiliath is unnecessary as well. The scene showing the Entmoot deciding not to go to war is unnecessary and confusing since they all seemed to follow Treebeard south to Isengard anyway. There is probably close to twenty minutes of these scenes that could be deleted to allow scenes that could progress the story.
It is probably wishful thinking but I wonder if we could begin an online petition to ask Jackson to delete some of these scenes and redo Faramir's portion in order to portray him correctly and improve the overall movie. I personally would wait for a re-release of the movie and would reward the director and studio by seeing it multiple times in the theatre.