To the Purists… – and anyone else who wants a review of TTT

by Dec 20, 2002Reviews

All right, here is what I have to say about TTT:

I’ve waited a year for this… and it was worth every bit of it. I was shocked, I was crying, I nearly fainting out of my seat in a Tolkien “high.” This high has lasted throughout the week. The epicness, the grandeur, the utter brillance and high feeling it cast on me, left me spellbound.

Now, I ask myself why I didn’t get this strong of a reaction with FotR? Surely, I got a VERY strong emotional reaction with FotR, but no where near the intensity of TTT. I think it is because I have come to peace, come to terms with the filmmakers.

In recent years, I have become very receptive to cinema and the power it can bring to people. It happened very suddenly; I began to analyze movies at depth and discover why the filmmaker did THIS to create THIS emotion, and so on. This didn’t happen with FotR; rather I took the fanatic take, the purist anaylist. I was dishearted to see Arwen. I was miffed at the portrayl of a darker, more creepy Galadriel.

But it was not so with TTT.

During the year, I decided to not allow myself to be disappointed with this one. I was to revel in the glory of Tolkien, in the glory of one man’s vision of a cinematic approach to Tolkien.

And it worked.

I am at peace. I have accepted that it will NOT be true to the books wholly; if it did, it would turn into a Harry Potter. Meaning, it is ambivalent: wonderful because it stick so true to the book, but boring because the filmmaker took no new steps to broaden the story out. We don’t want that of TOLKIEN! I say, if you wanted a strict “book” film, then GO READ THE BOOK AND MAKE YOUR OWN FILM IN YOUR HEAD. This person’s vision could destroy what you have created. Instead, enjoy TTT and LotR for WHAT IT IS! See that this is a way to bring the books to screen in an enjoyable, fascinating, and appealing to the common man who hasn’t read Tolkien before.

So, I went to the movie in utter excitement, and came out in a dream.

I understand why they do things, why they put more of Arwen, more tension with the Ring, more everything Tolkien didn’t do… because LotR is an extremely subtle book, and the populace can’t watch a subtle movie and enjoy it for what it is. They won’t get it. PJ wanted to make a film for the fans, and for the general folk. He did it, beyond anything we have dreamed.

So, to the actual review. Gollum was both laughable and pitiable at the same time; I was sobbing and chuckling slightly in his talking to himself scene. I sobbed hardest during Sam’s monologue, and I nearly jumped from my seat and cheered when I saw the the Last March of the Ents.

(Actually, I’m going to go on a nitpick [excuse my hypocrisy for JUST one thing]. The Ents said, “Do not be hasty!” but then go to war after seeing the trees being chopped down? The Ents’ wrath is something that has been bottled up and stoppered, and Sarumans doings and finally, the news Merry and Pippin bring is the last straw. I wanted to see the Ents as they are: a timeless, seemingly harmless power that will brood in silence for ages, then *plink* OKAY, NOW WE’RE TICKED! That’s all on the nitpick, because I’m devoted to Ents; they’re my favourite creatures of Middle Earth)

Helm’s Deep was quite magnificent, even if the Elves showed up. Again, WHO CARES? They just wanted to show more Elves, as in the books, after Fellowship, Legolas is the only Elf we can look to for “cool Elvenness.” The first hour, I admit, kind of had me in a whirl; everything happened sooo quickly. But after the first hour or so, it settles in, and I know, “This guy is doing it right,” as I weep to Theoden’s crying over his son’s grave.

Well, that’s all I’ll say now. I just wanted to let you guys know that in order to stay a purist fan to the books, and enjoy the movies, you must place them in different categories. You must uphold the truth of the books, but cast away all critiques and aggravations and appreciate it for what it is: TOLKIEN.


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