The Hobbit – The Unexpected Journey – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on December 16, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson, DIRECTOR – Peter Jackson
WRITER – Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro (Based on the book, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien)
CAST – Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis
MUSIC – Howard Shore
The lore of J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythical Middle Earth expanded immersively in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now, we have the prequel to the Great War of the LOTR series in ‘The Hobbit”, itself the first part of a trilogy.
Adapted from Tolkien’s book of the same name, the film takes us on a journey of the reluctant hobbit Bilbo Baggins (an excellent Martin Freeman) and a group of motley dwarfs led by the sagely wizard Gandalf to the treasure hidden in the Lonely Mountain guarded by the dragon Smaug. The leader of the dwarves is Thorin, an usurped king who is being hunted by the vicious orc Azog. Dark forces are also afoot in Mirkwood with the indications of the necromancer Sauron resurfacing. It is a world on the verge of a massive warfare.
As a prequel to LOTR, The Hobbit presents a vast exposition to all that we have already seen and it does it with the characteristic Peter Jackson verve of grandiose action, life-like art direction and enchanting combats that make his narratives deeply absorbing.
As a book, The Hobbit is far smaller than the trilogy the film introduces. Yet, Jackson and his team of writers delve deep into the mythology of the Middle Earth and connect characters otherwise on the periphery to the central action, giving it a full-bodied contour. He gives a backstory to Thorin’s character turning him into a valiant, tragic hero and centers the entire journey around his quest to gain his kingdom back. Bilbo himself finds his character graph tweaked to suit the dramatic conventions of a project as huge as this. The reluctant, harried and rigid Bilbo of the book, who was almost forcibly taken as a ‘burglar’ on the mission, is turned into a mild-mannered homebody who suddenly rediscovers his thirst for adventure. There are more deviations but none too awkward, too flamboyant, or too out of place for Jackson’s vision.
While, Jackson concentrates on the new, his Middle Earth, tone of the narrative and Howard Shore’s striking score harks back to the LOTR series effortlessly. Gollum, Lady Galadriel and a few more from the LOTR series find a presence completing a seamless experience.
There is drama, danger and battles galore even as the film refuses to hurry up during the long and sober discussion sequences. The first part is an exercise of setting up the stage for more to come and even though sequence after sequence of danger the little party face seem endless, the consummate experience and the hints in the climax leave us waiting expectantly from more. And this is true for non-fans as well.