Wednesday, December 18, 2002

The Two Towers
Even though I saw The Fellowship of the Rings I don't plan to see this one. I like the books too much. This is too bad because my kids are all gaga about the films (they are going tonight) so I miss out on an opportunity to share the fun. Well, I'll see the video when my daughter gets it. Maybe.

On the other hand, I disagree with Steven Greydanus when he says:
By almost any standard, The Two Towers is an immensely accomplished film; but the standard this film must be judged by is first of all Tolkien’s book....
As far as I'm concerned any film adaptation is an artistic reinterpretation of the original story and so is an opportunity for the director to put his own voice, his own values into the story. Kind of like how Virgil and Homer dealt with the Trojan War from slightly different perspectives. So, these films ought to be judged on their own artistic and interpretive merits, not on how accurately they reflect the ethos of the books. If Jackson wants to change Faramir, more power to him, but lets see what he does with him, whether it improves the story, or reflects important or true values.

The reason I don't want to see the film is not because it is not a slavish reproduction of the books, but because I don't agree with some of the new (Jacksonian) values that the films present. For one thing, he somewhat feministizes it, esp. concerning Arwen and Aragorn (Why can't we just have a strong, unangstridden hero in a film that women are supposed to enjoy?). Also, I REALLY think the Marian allusions in Galadrial are important in the original and making her into a witch was an interpretive mistake (especially since one the important aspects in the original was the discovery that the belief on the part of some characters that she was a witch was mistaken). From what I read of Greydanus' review, I don't think I'd be any more happy with the Two Towers.

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