Changes in the plot of the Lord of the Rings in the moviesOur friend Karl at Summa Contra Mundum (say, are you looking for philosopher? You should hire him!) says: "Further, the changes do nothing to effect the general theme and direction of the work."
I answer: There are two types of criticisms of the movie: the nitpicky ones that say, "But in the book Frodo picked up the ring first, then said, "You mean this?" Jackson has him SAYING "YOU MEAN THIS" FIRST! AAAAAGH!" I agree with Karl. That kind of criticism doesn't understand what moviemaking is all about.
On the other hand, there is a legitimate question as to whether "the changes do nothing to effect the general theme and direction of the work." I tend to think some of Jackson's changes did do that, especially those dealing with Arwen, Aragorn and Galadriel. (Note: I haven't seen the Two Towers, so I can't comment on those changes, but if what my daughter said about Faramir is true, then I'd say Jackson or the screenwriters really don't get it.) I believe that the specific values that Tolkien wanted to highlight in the books are in some cases at least muted, if not downright altered in the movie. I think, for instance, there needs to be characters like the Faramir of the book. He says something about devotion, humility, and wisdom that a Faramir that wants to use the ring wouldn't say.
I guess I'll have to shut up until I see the movie. If I do. Which I might not. Because I'd rather spend my time reading the book.