Saturday, July 05, 2008

Book vs. film

I recently finished reading J.R.R. Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring for the first time. I had already watched Peter Jackson's film of the same name, this is the reverse of what I usually do. Though I did enjoy the film, I'm afraid the old adage is true-- the book is better than the movie.
All the poetry in the book is lost in the film, songs are an intricate part of Tolkien's world building. Although it is hard to imagine Orlando Bloom breaking into song as the fellowship forges ahead in their quest. The viewing public today finds it hard to imagine a warrior who can sing about his troubles. Of course, some of the scenes have been shortened or left out but I think two points bothered me the most. One, the hobbits are not dopey, child-like klutzes in the book. Pippin and Merry are clever, observant and helpful, it is Frodo who gives the show away in the Prancing Pony not Pippin. But Frodo slips on the ring at the end of a song, once again hard to visualize the leading character, dancing and singing on a barroom table. The other critical difference is that Boromir is a much more slimy bugger in the book and isn't killed by Orcs in Frodo's defense. All of which reminds of another reason I enjoy a book more thoroughly, when I forget which character has which name from this village or that, I simply flip backward until I find the right passage. No luck with backing up the DVD, I can never find the remote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First rule of Film Studies, never compare the book with the film. You are sure to be left heart broken.