Login | Register
 
Message Board | Latest Posts | Your Recent Posts | Rules

Thread: PJ's Merry and Pippin

Is this discussion interesting? Share it on Twitter!

Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Lord of the Rings > PJ's Merry and Pippin   [1] [2] [3] [4] >>
The fact that PJ chose to give Merry and Pippen more humorous bits, didn't upset me. There's not much humour in the book, and I don't think their characters were ruined by the lines they got. While they were never rascals, they were the youngest, and more prone to do something stupid ("Hail, Frodo! Lord of the ring" and the well in Moria). Maybe they could have been a bit more mature... but on the whole, M&P were not terrible.
Come on! They are barely recognizable as the same characters! Merry is clever, for example he has a scholars interest in language and writes after the War many books on the subject. He is the 'leader' of the 'conspirators' who manages to even get info out of Gandalf. He becomes a leader of his people. Merry of the book is thoughtful and measured. Yes he has a fun streak but hes not anything like PJ's incarnation. The Merry of the book would never had gone into Maggots fields to steal from him, it would be unrespectable and scandalous for someone of his standing in the Buckland community. And in PJ's version they [i:1dsh9y6y]are[/i:1dsh9y6y] stealing, its not plundering a few apples. "And that bag of potatoes we lifted last week"- is a statement of theft. 'Lifted' being a well used slang word meaning 'stole'. It was mainly this scene which convinced the person at my work that they were vagabonds of some sort, because they were clearly stealing food. Pippin is the youngest and I always thought a bit spoiled (being high up in the Took family and all) but LotR for Pippin is a tale of his maturing, of understanding of the bigger world and events he and The Shire are a part of, none of which happens to PJ's version (partly thanks to the loss of the Scouring- which is really a crucial piece not only completing Merry and Pippins personal journey -without it PJ's versions just sit about the pub exactly the same as they were before they left-but it also completes Frodo's story, that he no longer belongs there. He saved the Shire but not for himself. This sentiment, although present in the films final scenes lacks all its meaning without having been through the Scouring and without the rise in prominence, respect and love for Merry, Pippin and Sam but not Frodo that follows the Scouring. Of course one of the reasons you couldn't have the Scouring in PJ's version is that his Merry and Pippin wouldn''t work doing the things they do in the Scouring- that's how different his version is from the books).
[quote="pettytyrant101":2r0krxx1] He saved the Shire but not for himself. This sentiment, although present in the films final scenes lacks all its meaning without having been through the Scouring[/quote:2r0krxx1] This is a good point. Never thought about how people who never read the books see the "We set out to save the shire, and it has been saved. But not for me" line. The only clue we get from the films is that Frodo's wound hasn't healed and that it hurts once a year. The last few chapters of the book is quite essential in order to understand why he says this, and it doesn't really make much sense in the films. One would think that he would be able to cope with some chest pains once a year, after all he had been through.
Someone at my work, who has never read Tolkien, recently watched FotR and when she was talking to me about it, she is bad with names, she kept referring to the 'two hobbit tramps', and the 'couple of wee chancers', and I finally clicked she was talking about Merry and Pippin. From them stealing fireworks and food to just upping and leaving with Frodo without having to let anyone know, or get someone to watch their hobbit holes while they were away or even give a reason for wanting to go, she had deduced they were hobbit homeless, down and outs. Given we are talking here about the next heads of the Took and Brandybuck families this could not be further from the original characters. But I could see how she had come to that conclusion from watching the film. What do you think? Does PJ make two of the noblest hobbits in the Shire seem like a couple of wise-cracking beggars?
In the Fellowship I think they do appear much too different from the originals. But in TT and RotK I think they move closer to the book versions, though in many ways they are still far from the book versions in those movies too. Never thought of them as beggars though. The way I see it, they bumped into Frodo, followed him for a while after the Ringwraith appears to get some answers. Then they learn that Frodo has to leave, and he needs help. They help him get to Bree, and from there they might be too scared to return home (because of the Ringwraiths), or they just wanted to help Frodo with the last bit of his "mission". They didn't know they were going to spend as much time as they eventually did when they first set out from Bree. As for leaving their homes without telling, the Shire is a peaceful place with friendly people, I'm sure they wouldn't worry about theft or anything, and the neighbours would probably take care of their homes anyway. And when they finally came to Rivendell, I guess they just wanted to help Frodo through it all (maybe they wouldn't have if they had known what was to come). I do understand that things might have been interpreted differently though, but this is the way I see it. Beggars are quite funny though :lol:
My judgement was undoubtedly clouded by familiarity with the book, but I thought of Jackon's M&P as the Shire's equivalent of 20something slackers: living off their parent's money, goofing around, refusing to get a job, etc. That's certainly far from the book version of the characters, but whenever I heard their surnames my mind connected them with upper-class families. To the uninitiated, however, their clothes were probably the only thing suggesting they were upper-class. I can certainly see how your friend thought they were homeless. As for the circumstances of their leaving the Shire, I was always disappointed by that. M&P had literally nothing but the clothes on their backs (and a few vegetables) with them and they left without saying goodbye to anyone or getting anything to take with them. This makes them seem incredibly careless but also calls into question how they were able to trek across hundreds of miles of wilderness. I think this is another example of Jackson not thinking things through the way Tolkien did.
My feeling is that PJ based his M an P on these two from this clip of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Look at around 4 mins 20 seconds and after. I could not face to watch the full 5 minutes from 4 till 9 minutes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU6_bIagkBo It is the same old comic relief formula of a film needing two idiots to make it good. Nonsense, Alan Rickman was comic relief enough.
Well things are mighty quiet here! Where are the PJ apologists hiding? (You know who you are). Where is the defence that accusing M&P of being like vagabond thieves is outrageous? Where's the claims that its a fare representation of the characters? Or could it be, finally, that at least on the subject of M&P, that even the PJ apologists can't think of any decent apologies (or excuses) for the mess he made of the characters?
[quote="pettytyrant101":93nn4orf] (You know who you are). [/quote:93nn4orf] :oops: :lol:
Tolkien Liberals and PJ apologists can be a tricksy bunch. They often hide behind seemingly otherwise perfectly sane and reasoning personalities, yet when it comes to the LotR films they reveal themselves as unable to see, or deal with, the stark truth of PJ's appalling script. But no matter how carefully they hide, those who truly hold to Tolkiens creation and ideals, can always sniff 'em out in the end! :twisted:
[quote="pettytyrant101":3ieqd2lm]They often hide behind seemingly otherwise perfectly sane and reasoning personalities, yet when it comes to the LotR films they reveal themselves as unable to see, or deal with, the stark truth of PJ's appalling script.[/quote:3ieqd2lm] I don't know if it's your intention, but that came off as really condescending and obnoxious, even for someone who agrees with you on a number of points.
It was supposed to come off as tongue-in-cheek Eldo-but clearly didn't (as well as true- it is an appalling script by any standard, especially TT which they all but admit is a mess in the commentary to the EE versions!).
[quote="pettytyrant101":kex3hsgv] They often hide behind seemingly otherwise perfectly sane and reasoning personalities, yet when it comes to the LotR films they reveal themselves as unable to see, or deal with, the stark truth of PJ's appalling script. :[/quote:kex3hsgv] Hehe, I do understand the views of the purists, I too see that Jackson's trilogy is not as faithful to the books as we would like (or not close to the book at all, if that suits your fancy :lol: ) . It's just that I don't mind Jackson's version either, I love both versions <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> And don't worry about this: [quote="Eldorion":kex3hsgv] I don't know if it's your intention, but that came off as really condescending and obnoxious, even for someone who agrees with you on a number of points.[/quote:kex3hsgv] I'm sure it wasn't meant that way <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
[quote="Ringdrotten":3onyykye]It's just that I don't mind Jackson's version either, I love both versions [/quote:3onyykye] Love is a strong word. I wish you would not use it so casually! The implication is you "love" the Movies equally to the "books". Surely, that's preposterous! :roll: I think I need remind you, Mr Ringdrotten, that this is a Respectable Forum! :x
Eldorion, I think you owe Mr Tyrant an apology. He was merely defending the Faith! There was just no need for you to attack him so virulently! :x
I did say they were tricksy!!!
But I do love them Odo :lol: Seen the films more times than I can count, and of course read the book several times as well! (In three languages :o ) I will take care not to use such strong words when commenting other things though <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> However, just to make you feel better: Yes, the books are much better and I'd take those over the films any day <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
I must be frank with you, Mr Ringdrotten - your comments reek of Tolkien Liberalism! (That's another way of saying Tolkien Lefteeism btw! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> ) And yes, you Liberal types are tricksy! Good point, Mr Tyrant! You know, [i:34wbtyrq]their [/i:34wbtyrq]type are like eels, wriggling their way in and out of trouble! Totally unlike you and I --- I mean, folk always know what our reply will be to any (respectable) question - no wriggly-squiggly-tricksy business going on with the likes of us! :ugeek:
[quote="Odo Banks":2tl4zy3s]I must be frank with you, Mr Ringdrotten - your comments reek of Tolkien Liberalism! [/quote:2tl4zy3s] They do, I'm afraid :lol: You Purists need counterparts!
"I too see that Jackson's trilogy is not as faithful to the books as we would like (or not close to the book at all, if that suits your fancy)"- Ringdrotten. More like often nothing to do with the books. As in "we dumped entirely what Professor Tolkien wrote in favour of this drivel about Faramir capturing Frodo, oh and we decided it was better if Frodo told Sam to sod off in the middle of Mordor in favour of his new best mate Gollum, and Sam just goes! And this is merely the beginning to ways we've found to make Tolkien's story better and more dramatic, everyone knows its not good enough as it is". No, no and no again! When it comes to LotR there is no room for liberalism- they screwed it up, our one chance (most likely) to see our favourite book on the big screen. And they ballsed up the script entirely, the heart and soul of it. It can look like Middle-earth, it could have had a full holographic projection and sensofeely technology with smellovision but it would still have been ruined by that script. See past the gloss Ringdrotten- see the purist truth of the matter. PJ cocked it up. This thread about Merry and Pippin shows that clearly. Two of the main characters in the book whose film counterparts bear little more than their names in common. And a decided lack of people willing to come on and try to defend their portrayal by PJ. With this lack of defence I think the purists can claim a moral victory!
[quote="pettytyrant101":s6gd872p] And a decided lack of people willing to come on and try to defend their portrayal by PJ. [/quote:s6gd872p] I tried at least :lol: But then again, I am very liberal :P I've no problems seeing that he screwed it up big time from a Purist's point of view though. Especially that thing about Frodo sending Sam home again, that pissed even [i:s6gd872p]me[/i:s6gd872p] off!
[quote="pettytyrant101":1e7htlf0]This thread about Merry and Pippin shows that clearly. Two of the main characters in the book whose film counterparts bear little more than their names in common. And a decided lack of people willing to come on and try to defend their portrayal by PJ. With this lack of defence I think the purists can claim a moral victory![/quote:1e7htlf0] As usual, Mr Tyrant, the voice of Pure Reason in the Liberal Wilderness this Forum has become! 8-)
[quote="pettytyrant101":2n0gkku0]See past the gloss Ringdrotten- see the purist truth of the matter. PJ cocked it up.[/quote:2n0gkku0] He didn't mess up everything. I think that he still made good films, even though they disregarded the books far more than I think necessary. I tend to evaluate the films in two ways: their success as movies and their success as adaptations. I agree with you that they fail as adaptations (though I try to be more soft-spoken; not sure if I always succeed) but whether they succeed as movies or not is a subjective matter. I think there are plenty of cinematic flaws in the movies, but there is also plenty of good work that went into them. It seems like you ignore everything else and focus only on the script, but movies can have both good parts and bad parts. In any even though, the script is one of the more important ones, so I agree with you to a point.
[quote="Eldorion":2z46ju3y] I tend to evaluate the films in two ways: their success as movies and their success as adaptations. I agree with you that they fail as adaptations (though I try to be more soft-spoken; not sure if I always succeed) but whether they succeed as movies or not is a subjective matter. [/quote:2z46ju3y] Exactly. Though, I must quote Gandalf's Beard here, because he worded his opinion of adaptations in a way that I can only agree 100% with: [quote="Gandalfs Beard":2z46ju3y]for me, a good adaptation is one that has the basic plot, themes, and characters of the original, yet manages to tell a cohesive story that stands on its own apart from the original. These are the basic factors that go into my ability to enjoy adaptations, despite occasionally major changes from the source material. [/quote:2z46ju3y] And that's why I like the Lord of the Rings movies, despite all the changes they made :P
"a good adaptation is one that has the basic plot, themes, and characters of the original, yet manages to tell a cohesive story that stands on its own apart from the original." -GB (supported by Ringdrotten). Ok lets take GB's statement you agree with and have a closer look. 1. Basic plot- well if by basic you really mean basic, then yes it pases on this count, however leaving large parts out entirely (such as Scouring) does show a lack of understanding of the work, but we'll come onto that in the next point. 2. Themes- there has been plenty said of the themes of LotR. Tolkien himself said its main theme was death. Which is why, Scouring as a chapter, was one of the few things Tolkien always intended. He might not have known how his book was getting there but he always meant it to be there because it is so important to the books central theme. Missing out the most important scenes of the books main theme seems like a fail to me as far as theme goes. 3. Characters of the Original- some, Gandalf, Bilbo, ummm, struggling now, are recognisable as their book counterparts. Others such as Merry and Pippin, Aragorn from Rivendell onwards (the reluctant King? Aragorn of the books can't wait to be King!), Gimli, Legolas, Faramir, Denethor are either fundementally altered or made so 2D as to be cartoon, childlike versions of the book. (Or Gothmog who is a black rider in the book and a physically handicappped orc of some sort PJ just made up on his tea break or something in the film). So a fail there- most of the characters are either different or dumbed down to be crowd pleasers or because PJ and the Coven felt they weren't 'dramatic' enough (something in my view it is not the duty of an adaptor to decide). 4. Cohesive story- Faramir decides not to reject the Ring. Faramir then decides to capture Frodo and the Ring and take him to Minas Tirith for the good of his people. On the way they get to Osgiliath (a reasonable distance) and the Nazgul attack. Frodo takes the Ring and tries to give it straight to the Enemy. Faramir, witnessing this, decides thats the reason he has to let Frodo go off on his own into Mordor with the Ring- where exactly is the sense, cohesivness or plotting in any of this? And besides it displays a lack of understanding about the Ring and its insidous methods- had Faramir not rejected it immediately, as in the book, and done as PJ has him by the time he had reached Osgiliath he would have been no more able to let the Ring go than his brother was. And its not the only bit to make no sense as a film- an army of elves turns up at Helms deep (and one Legolas can take down a Mumakil on his own what can an army of him do?) and there's not one left at the end of the fight but the tiny number of Rohirrim involved, even the young boys who had to fight manage to survive fine- sense? I don't think so. Or Denethor who appears to rule all on his own, no advisors, no Captains of the West, no Prince Amroth, nothing, just him doing nothing in a big empty Throne Room. To the point Gandalf has to ludicrously get Pippin to light the beacons by climbing up one! At one point Denethor says, as in the book, "Is there no Captain here...." to a room consisting of only one Captain, Faramir. Beside him, Pippin and Gandalf theres noone else there. There are no other Captains in PJ's version even if he seems to have failed to notice this himself. Or Treebeard, who needs Pippin to trick him into seeing the ruin of his own forests around Orthanc in order to get him to do something- leaving Treebeard as a shepherd who doesn't know anything about his own flock, (and this given in an earlier scene they walk straight past it when the army leaves Orthanc seeing the ruin!!)and theres plenty more makes no sense. I havent even got onto Frodo rejecting Sam over some lembas!! It's not cohesive, even on its own terms- so another fail. 5. Stands on its own apart from the original- pass. Most definetly a pass- large parts of the last two films in particular have absolutely no grounding or source in the book whatsoever- not a single line- can't get much further apart than that I admit. But is this really a good thing? I could also add to this list the lack of Tolkiens dialogue, which is far superior to the modernised, soundbite version of it PJ presents. From a purely film standpoint it varies wildely in quality of directing (the warg scene for example) and in effects and lighting (the Dead Marshes are rubbish and poorly lit with sunny blue skies above and gas taps belching yellow flames replacing what in the book are clearly a willow-the-wisp type of light and it was clearly filmed in a rush). There is much good about these films in term of set and costume design and pure unadulterated effort. But its all to no avail. A films script is the start and end point- you can fill it with all the flash you like but if the script is poor (and LotR is poor) then the whole thing suffers and fails.
I'll not say that what you're saying is wrong, because it isn't, even I can see that. Your arguements are fine and reasonable, but I still stand for what I quoted from GB, even after all the changes, it is still based on (even if many changes are huge, like you say) the plot, theme (the theme is a bit vague, I'll admit) and characters from the original material. You cannot say that it isn't, even if you don't think the characters, plot or theme is recognizable. However, you tend to forget what he said about not trying to make a film for the readers, but a film for the masses (including those who never read the book). And that is why it is wrong to blame him for making a poor attempt at staying faithful to the book, because he never attempted to do so. You can hate him all you want for this and say that he had no rights to alter/ruin Tolkien's work, but that was his choice, what can we do about it?
[quote="pettytyrant101":3lz9fysh]It's not cohesive, even on its own terms- so another fail.[/quote:3lz9fysh] That is one of the reasons I like the films less than the book even when ignoring the matter of accuracy. PJ et al weren't very good at maintaining internal consistency. [quote:3lz9fysh]Stands on its own apart from the original- pass. Most definetly a pass- large parts of the last two films in particular have absolutely no grounding or source in the book whatsoever- not a single line- can't get much further apart than that I admit. But is this really a good thing?[/quote:3lz9fysh] I think the point of this is that the story of the films can be followed and makes (some) sense to viewers who haven't read the book. This is most definitely a good thing, and I think LOTR passes. Some of the more recent HP films become so stripped-down that it reads like an incomplete plot outline, but regardless of changes, LOTR manages to tell a coherent story (yes, even with the inconsistencies you mentioned). [quote:3lz9fysh]There is much good about these films in term of set and costume design and pure unadulterated effort. But its all to no avail. A films script is the start and end point- you can fill it with all the flash you like but if the script is poor (and LotR is poor) then the whole thing suffers and fails.[/quote:3lz9fysh] I agree that a poor script will sink a film, but I don't think the script for LOTR was that poor. It didn't tell as good of a story as the book and it didn't always make sense, but I think it still managed to tell a good story. Good, not great; but still enjoyable to watch. And most of the good parts were the ones they changed the least. Whether someone enjoys or dislikes a film is a very subjective question though, and one that is really beyond debate, no matter how many flaws can be pointed out.
[quote="Ringdrotten":1t60kny8]I'll not say that what you're saying is wrong, because it isn't, even I can see that. Your arguements are fine and reasonable, but I still stand for what I quoted from GB, even after all the changes, it is still based on (even if many changes are huge, like you say) the plot, theme (the theme is a bit vague, I'll admit) and characters from the original material. You cannot say that it isn't, even if you don't think the characters, plot or theme is recognizable.[/quote:1t60kny8] This might seem ironic after talking about subjectivity, but I think the matter of faithfulness and accuracy is more objective than whether a movie is good or bad. Not wholly objective, but we can identify and compare the plot, characters, and themes from the book and compare them to those in the movie. So on [b:1t60kny8]this[/b:1t60kny8] point I have to agree with petty. The very basic plot is the same, but the emphasis has largely been shifted to Aragorn. Many of the characters, including Aragorn and Frodo (the main characters in the movie) have radically different motivations and/or personality. The core themes of death and the fading of Elves/rise of humans were either disregarded or woefully misinterpreted. The "good guys" weren't even good enough to not murder an ambassador. The Elves were able to send military expeditions to distant lands despite being under attack themselves. The list goes on; and has been elaborated at length by both petty and myself. PJ was certainly not the worst possible choice, and he could have done worse, but he also could have done far better. Petty's posts n this thread outlines this well, but if you care to read more, I'd like to refer you to [url=http://eldorion.com/tolkienpurism/lotrchanges/:1t60kny8]these essays[/url:1t60kny8] that I wrote. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />
[quote="Eldorion":1pstosp5] This might seem ironic after talking about subjectivity, but I think the matter of faithfulness and accuracy is more objective than whether a movie is good or bad.[/quote:1pstosp5] I agree, that's more a matter of objectivity, but you can't say that they are [i:1pstosp5]not[/i:1pstosp5] based on the stuff from the book, [i:1pstosp5]even[/i:1pstosp5] [i:1pstosp5]if [/i:1pstosp5] they are so different that in some cases, merely the names are the same. [quote="Eldorion":1pstosp5] PJ was certainly not the worst possible choice, and he could have done worse, but he also could have done far better. [/quote:1pstosp5] Quoting myself here, as I feel the need to repeat it :P [quote="Ringdrotten":1pstosp5] However, you tend to forget what he said about not trying to make a film for the readers, but a film for the masses (including those who never read the book). And that is why it is wrong to blame him for making a poor attempt at staying faithful to the book, because he never attempted to do so. You can hate him all you want for this and say that he had no rights to alter/ruin Tolkien's work, but that was his choice, what can we do about it?[/quote:1pstosp5] And yes, to some extent he tried to keep in line with the books, but I do not know which parts of the book he wanted to keep in line with, so I cannot say whether he did a good or a bad job at it. I'm sure there's lots to find out about that in the EE extras. However, taken into consideration what he himself said about the matter, you cannot blame him for not doing a good job, because he never tried to make a film faithful to the book! I'll take a look at your essays though, Eldo, should be interesting <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />
I have less a problem with the films as retellings of LotR- its when they are called adaptations I have a problem as for all the reasons listed and those Eldos gives I think it either has to be seen as not an adaptation, or if it is, as a very bad adaptation. Your right Eldo that its subjective, but I was responding to a point which listed the criteria for being a good adaptation, and assuming the original statement by GB is accepted, i think its fair game for comment and for making the deduction that on those criteria the films fail overall. I can't deny Ringdrotten that the films are based on LotR- they clearly are, they are just not adaptations (or at least not good ones). But wheres the line? Can you change chunks of the story, alter most of the major characters, change or alter the emphasis of the books themes? At which point are you no longer faithfully attempting to adapt someone work and where are you just making your own stuff up? I think PJ crosses way over that line and thats the problem. Ringdrotten as far as I can tell LoTR (judging on book sales over the years) has mass appeal as is. Millions have read it and loved it, millions would have watched a faithful adaptation and enjoyed it likewise. The excuse that it needed more drama, the characaters rewritten etc to make it more mass appeal is a nonsense and a non starter. It shows disrespecdt for Tolkien and a shameful lack of faith in his characters, plotting and story telling.
[quote="pettytyrant101":2o6jnbqn]I have less a problem with the films as retellings of LotR- its when they are called adaptations I have a problem as for all the reasons listed and those Eldos gives I think it either has to be seen as not an adaptation, or if it is, as a very bad adaptation.[/quote:2o6jnbqn] I think I have stated elsewhere that I see the LotR films as what you say, retellings, and not adaptations. I realize that this contradicts what I said in some earlier posts about my feelings regarding adaptations though. And I can also see that they are, if faithfulness to the original material is the most important element (as it often is when it comes to adaptations), bad adaptations, or even horrible. The changes are too big and numerous to say anything else. But like I said, I'm fine with adaptations being based solely on the basics of the story, as long as the adaptation manages to tell a good story on its own (which I think is the case with LotR). [quote="pettytyrant101":2o6jnbqn] The excuse that it needed more drama, the characaters rewritten etc to make it more mass appeal is a nonsense and a non starter. [/quote:2o6jnbqn] This I agree with. I'm sure the original story would have made better films, taking away the elves at helms deep, the love drama, the total omission of the other Gondorian forces and leaders etc. Sadly, Jackson felt differently about it.
My biggest disappointment is that there is enough in the movies to show that a True Adaptation could have been made. The book has plenty of that "mass appeal" stuff you guys gad on about, that's why it's one of the most popular books ever. Mr Tyrant is right when he says that PJ thought he could do better! PJ obviously did think he could. But he couldn't! PJ showed enough to suggest he could have done a True Adaptation. Alas! Ego got in the way - and opportunity lost, I say!
[quote="Odo Banks":pocgsxcl]My biggest disappointment is that there is enough in the movies to show that a True Adaptation could have been made [/quote:pocgsxcl] I've thought a lot about this myself recently, and I agree. I think most of his changes was unnecessary. All this talk about the films being too different from the books reminded me of something I read a while ago: When Frodo and Sam is in Osgiliath, Sam says: "By rights we shouldn't even be here". This was a nod to the deviation the screenplay had taken from the book's storyline, since they were never there in the book. A little fun fact, taken from IMDB trivia <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />
[quote="Ringdrotten":2fyjk0ia]I think most of his changes was unnecessary. [/quote:2fyjk0ia] I know ALL of his changes were unnecessary! :ugeek:
[quote="Ringdrotten":2d798p6k]I agree, that's more a matter of objectivity, but you can't say that they are [i:2d798p6k]not[/i:2d798p6k] based on the stuff from the book, [i:2d798p6k]even[/i:2d798p6k] [i:2d798p6k]if [/i:2d798p6k] they are so different that in some cases, merely the names are the same.[/quote:2d798p6k] Parts of the films are very close to the book, yes, and even parts that aren't as close often still based on it. Others, such as Frodo sending Sam away, the 'alternate' ending with the Shire, Elves at Helm's Deep, Aragorn's reluctance to become King, and more are the inventions of the film-makers and quite at odds with the book. [quote="Ringdrotten":2d798p6k]You can hate him all you want for this and say that he had no rights to alter/ruin Tolkien's work, but that was his choice, what can we do about it?[/quote:2d798p6k] We can't do anything; it's not like the films can be un-made. :roll: We can still have discussions about what [i:2d798p6k]should[/i:2d798p6k] or [i:2d798p6k]could[/i:2d798p6k] have been done though, particularly in light of future film projects: both [i:2d798p6k]The Hobbit[/i:2d798p6k] and adaptations further down the line, which will likely occur eventually. [quote:2d798p6k]And yes, to some extent he tried to keep in line with the books, but I do not know which parts of the book he wanted to keep in line with, so I cannot say whether he did a good or a bad job at it. I'm sure there's lots to find out about that in the EE extras.[/quote:2d798p6k] The screenwriters, including PJ, seemed to feel (based on the EE extras you mention) that so long as they were faithful to the "spirit of Tolkien" they were free to make changes to the story but still be considered faithful. They never bothered to say what the spirit of Tolkien was, and I have been unable to think of an answer that is not either too vague to be useful or too specific to accommodate PJ's changes. [quote:2d798p6k]However, taken into consideration what he himself said about the matter, you cannot blame him for not doing a good job, because he never tried to make a film faithful to the book![/quote:2d798p6k] I think he should have, so I can and do blame him for not bothering. [quote:2d798p6k]I'll take a look at your essays though, Eldo, should be interesting <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />[/quote:2d798p6k] I hope you enjoy reading them, even if you disagree. You may also be interested in "The Purist Manifesto" in another part of the site. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />
[quote="pettytyrant101":1awyk6yz]I have less a problem with the films as retellings of LotR- its when they are called adaptations I have a problem as for all the reasons listed and those Eldos gives I think it either has to be seen as not an adaptation, or if it is, as a very bad adaptation.[/quote:1awyk6yz] I think it's clear that the films are adaptations of the book since they are clearly a modified form of the original story. The question that arises is twofold: first, is it a goal of adaptations to remain faithful the original story; and second, if so, did PJ succeed at this goal? I see no sense in denying that PJ made adaptations though.
[quote="Odo Banks":89t9sawx]I know ALL of his changes were unnecessary! :ugeek:[/quote:89t9sawx] :roll:
[quote="Eldorion":2dq03jzm] Elves at Helm's Deep, Aragorn's reluctance to become King[/quote:2dq03jzm] I'll agree that those parts are crappy, nomatter what reason Jackson might have for doing it :P [quote="Eldorion":2dq03jzm]We can't do anything; it's not like the films can be un-made. :roll: We can still have discussions about what [i:2dq03jzm]should[/i:2dq03jzm] or [i:2dq03jzm]could[/i:2dq03jzm] have been done though, particularly in light of future film projects: both [i:2dq03jzm]The Hobbit[/i:2dq03jzm] and adaptations further down the line, which will likely occur eventually.[/quote:2dq03jzm] Good point [quote:2dq03jzm] The screenwriters, including PJ, seemed to feel (based on the EE extras you mention) that so long as they were faithful to the "spirit of Tolkien" they were free to make changes to the story but still be considered faithful. [/quote:2dq03jzm] Ok, I will agree that they screwed up big time if they actually thought they were being faithful. That excuse is rather weak :P
The question is with an adaptation where is the line? When transferring an authors work from one medium to another where do you draw the line in changes? At which point for example would TT stop being classed as an adaptation? As it is there is, in a 3 hour film, almost an hour of material which has no source in the book. If you compare the content, characters, plot, motivations etc of the book TT to the film the differences are very large indeed. So if instead of an hour PJ had made up and hour and half of TT is it still an adaptation? 2hrs? Where is the line?
[quote="Ringdrotten":1r5j266g]I'll agree that those parts are crappy, nomatter what reason Jackson might have for doing it :P [/quote:1r5j266g] Same here, though I have two distinct complaints about those parts. The reasons I think they are bad cinema (there's no reason to make every battle have hopeless odds even when the good guys are outnumbered) are different from the reasons I think they're out of places in an adaptation (they're unnecessary changes from the original). I'm glad we can agree on at least some points though. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
[quote="pettytyrant101":1e1zik0a]At which point for example would TT stop being classed as an adaptation? As it is there is, in a 3 hour film, almost an hour of material which has no source in the book. If you compare the content, characters, plot, motivations etc of the book TT to the film the differences are very large indeed.[/quote:1e1zik0a] One [url=http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=adaptation:1e1zik0a]dictionary definition[/url:1e1zik0a] is that an adaptation is 'a written work (as a novel) that has been recast in a new form) [i:1e1zik0a]"the play is an adaptation of a short novel"[/i:1e1zik0a]'. Despite the myriad changes and additions to TTT, it's still clearly a recast version of the book. Sure, some parts might be unrecognizable, but as a whole it's unmistakably based on LOTR. One can argue that some movies (perhaps LOTR, though there are far more egregious examples) are [i:1e1zik0a]failed[/i:1e1zik0a] adaptations because they change too much, but I don't think there's any point in denying the label of adaptation to a work that is still unmistakably based on a book. [quote:1e1zik0a]So if instead of an hour PJ had made up and hour and half of TT is it still an adaptation? 2hrs? Where is the line?[/quote:1e1zik0a] I can't stand attempts to measure adaptations in terms of time. For one, both the book and the movies are more than a collection of scenes: there are themes, characterizations, backstory, and other elements that cannot be neatly quantified. This isn't an exact science and I think trying to treat it as one results in missing a large part of the picture. That said, I think some analyses can be done.
[quote="Eldorion":1dwjc8sc](they're unnecessary changes from the original). [/quote:1dwjc8sc] Yeah, I was looking forward to Erkenbrand's charge at the end, instead I got to see the banished Eomer. Now I got myself thinking here! Banished Eomer, Frodo sending Sam away... I see a pattern here.. I bet Bard the Bowman will be banished from Laketown after he kills the dragon :o [quote="Eldorion":1dwjc8sc]I'm glad we can agree on at least some points though. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />[/quote:1dwjc8sc] Yup! :lol:
The Films were Brilliant, Wonderful Adaptations. The best we could have hoped for really. They were much closer to the source material than most film adaptations are. Down with Purists. :P :P :P [b:1ibo8ym2]GB[/b:1ibo8ym2]
Ha! [quote="Gandalfs Beard":trluxyiv]Down with Purists. [/quote:trluxyiv] The TL's show their teeth! (I find the THREE Razzes particularly virulent and offensive btw! :x I removed those Razzes from the quote above as there are young people on this Forum, GB!!! :x :x :x )
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":1hlr8el0]The Films were Brilliant, Wonderful Adaptations. The best we could have hoped for really. They were much closer to the source material than most film adaptations are.[/quote:1hlr8el0] That other people have managed to do even worse than PJ (a fact I readily acknowledge) does not encourage me for some reason. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
Well said Eldo! You can compare one bit of crap with another bit of crap all you like GB and debate which bit of crap is the best all day long. But at the end of it you're still just left with a pile of crap. :lol:
Read through your essays Eldorion, almost forgot about them, but now I have! First, great essays, eloquent and informative <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> Second: Discussion! Characters: I agree with most of what you say, except Arwen [quote:1dcb8jgv]Arwen Why she did not realize earlier that marriage to a king would entail childbearing is left unexplained. [/quote:1dcb8jgv] I think you misunderstood the scene where she sees her son a bit here. This whole scene is a future foreseen by Elrond, which Arwen thought was lost. While Elrond was looking into her future and saw possible outcomes, he saw one "happy ending", where Arwen and Aragorn would have a son together. She was first convinced by Elrond that this future was lost, and that is why she left. However, when she saw what Elrond had seen (some Elvish mind-communication-stuff, I don't know how she could see it, Jackson's or Tolkien's idea?) she changed her mind. She never "not realized" that marriage to a king would entail childbearing, as you put it <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> Changes to the plot: On the battle of Helm's Deep: " PJ, evidently preferring battles over more significant events" Big battles simply make better cinema than certain significant events, and he was trying to make good cinema after all, for a broader audience than merely the readers. "On the other hand the Ents are reduced to just a few scenes of (sometimes comic) relief from the tension of battle." The ents' battle didn't get too much attention in the films, but compare it to the book. Nothing! There are only the events that occur before and after the battle in the book, not the battle itself. That taken into account, they got enough attention in my opinion. Also, there's a few comical episodes there, but really, they aren't out of place at all in those scenes (or at least, I don't think they are). The Lord of the Rings isn't a comedy, but some humour must be ok, don't you think? <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> I also disagree with you on the matter of the Scouring. To an audience that hadn't read the books, it would have been seen as bad cinema. After the ring is gone, which is what the plot is (in the films) all about, the Scouring would have been anti-climatic, mainly because of the amount of time it would have taken to do it justice. Other than that though, I agree, especially on the Army of the Dead. Again, very well put and informative <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> Some really good points in the essay on side effects as well, much that I would never have thought of myself, though I tend to be rather forgiving about inconsistencies in movies. The last essay is also filled with good and valid points, though I disagree with all the Purist talk, but I think that's already been discussed :lol: Definitely worth the time it took to read them, great stuff!
[quote="Ringdrotten":2f8rpxvd]First, great essays, eloquent and informative <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />[/quote:2f8rpxvd] Thank you! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> [quote:2f8rpxvd]IHowever, when she saw what Elrond had seen (some Elvish mind-communication-stuff, I don't know how she could see it, Jackson's or Tolkien's idea?) she changed her mind.[/quote:2f8rpxvd] This is actually part of the reason I hold to my interpretation. She already knew that one possible future was that she would end up with Aragorn, but she knew both before and after her vision that it was only a possibility (while she says to Elrond that "it is not lost", she doesn't disagree that it's just a possibility). The vision must have been what changed her mind. I can think of three possible explanations: either (1) seeing Aragorn reminded her of how she felt about him, (2) seeing the child reminded her that she could be a mother, or (3) she saw the child through some sort of foresight (similar to Elrond's own gift) and realized she could be a mother). One of the first things Arwen said to Elrond after returning to Imladris was "You have the gift of foresight. ... You saw there would be a child. You saw my son." The hurt, indignant way she said this implies to me that she was not aware that a child featured in her future if she married Aragorn. [quote:2f8rpxvd]Big battles simply make better cinema than certain significant events, and he was trying to make good cinema after all, for a broader audience than merely the readers.[/quote:2f8rpxvd] Some of the best sci-fi/fantasy movies out there (including [i:2f8rpxvd]The Empire Strikes Back[/i:2f8rpxvd]) do not feature major battles in their climaxes. In any event, Jackson had more than enough time to include a less-bloated version of the battle in addition to a scene of Isengard's destruction. Even if battles were necessary (and while I disagree that they are, I am a fan of battle scenes) Jackson didn't have to make it as long as he did. [quote:2f8rpxvd]The ents' battle didn't get too much attention in the films, but compare it to the book. Nothing![/quote:2f8rpxvd] The destruction of Isengard was told in flashback. This works better in a book because it's still being narrated, just by a character instead of an impersonal narrator. In a film, where the director needs to maintain visual interest, it could easily have been shown in real time alongside the battle. Alternatively, it could have been shown as a flashback, more similarly to how it was in the book. [quote:2f8rpxvd]The Lord of the Rings isn't a comedy, but some humour must be ok, don't you think? <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> [/quote:2f8rpxvd] Some, sure, but Jackson (as is his wont) went far beyond "some". <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> [quote:2f8rpxvd]I also disagree with you on the matter of the Scouring. To an audience that hadn't read the books, it would have been seen as bad cinema.[/quote:2f8rpxvd] The Scouring seems to have worked well enough in the books for millions of readers despite the time it took there, and I think a director who made room for it from the beginning of the screenwriting progress could have included it. I don't think it would have worked just as an addendum to Jackson's films, though. [quote:2f8rpxvd]The last essay is also filled with good and valid points, though I disagree with all the Purist talk, but I think that's already been discussed :lol: [/quote:2f8rpxvd] So you like the essay about purism except for the parts that seem purist? :lol: :P I'm glad you enjoyed reading them! <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> I had fun writing them but it's even better to get feedback, especially thoughtful feedback of the sort you gave. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
[i:3nam2fzd]"she saw the child through some sort of foresight and realized she could be a mother."[/i:3nam2fzd] This is what I believe is what happened. [i:3nam2fzd]"The hurt, indignant way she said this implies to me that she was not aware that a child featured in her future if she married Aragorn."[/i:3nam2fzd] I'm of the opinion that she always knew that a marriage with Aragorn would include a child, but that Elrond (this is why I kind of dislike move-Elrond) decieved her into believing that that future was lost forever, even though as it turned out, it wasn't. [i:3nam2fzd] Some of the best sci-fi/fantasy movies out there (including The Empire Strikes Back[/i:3nam2fzd]) do not feature major battles in their climaxes. In any event, Jackson had more than enough time to include a less-bloated version of the battle in addition to a scene of Isengard's destruction. Even if battles were necessary (and while I disagree that they are, I am a fan of battle scenes) Jackson didn't have to make it as long as he did. I agree that the Ents' destruction of Isengard would have made great cinema, much better than Helm's Deep if done correctly. I mean, we have seen "regular" battles before, how could wouldn't the Ents versus Orcs and Mega-Big-Tower battle have been for a change? <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />. But I guess Jackson felt he had to prioritize one of them, and ended up with Helm's Deep as the main battle. He could have made Helm's Deep shorter and Isengard longer like you say though, I can't see any good arguements against that solution. But you know, that's Jackson for you right there :P (I still love his films though :lol: ) And also, the Star Wars movies don't really need big battles, they have the incredibly epic sword fights concluding every film. Need I mention the greatest sword fight of all time, Luke vs Darth Vader in The Return of the Jedi? <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> [i:3nam2fzd] "The destruction of Isengard was told in flashback. This works better in a book because it's still being narrated, just by a character instead of an impersonal narrator. In a film, where the director needs to maintain visual interest, it could easily have been shown in real time alongside the battle." [/i:3nam2fzd] Actually, that point is so good I won't even bother trying to think out an arguement against it :lol: [i:3nam2fzd] "Some, sure, but Jackson (as is his wont) went far beyond "some" <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> "[/i:3nam2fzd] I agree, (Gimli, anyone? :P ), it's just that I think that (no offense!) sometimes you Purists tend to rant a bit too much about the out-of-place humour in the trilogy (which is, of course, perfectly fine. Again, Gimli) while you forget that there's also some good humour in there <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> My point was simply that some of the humour in Jackson's movies is acceptable, and that humour shouldn't be overlooked because of the bad and silly stuff. (You are, of course, allowed to think that the burning ent in the river was bad and silly humour, but I'm just saying that Jackson should at least get credit for [i:3nam2fzd]some[/i:3nam2fzd] of his humour <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />) [i:3nam2fzd] "The Scouring seems to have worked well enough in the books for millions of readers despite the time it took there, and I think a director who made room for it from the beginning of the screenwriting progress could have included it. I don't think it would have worked just as an addendum to Jackson's films, though."[/i:3nam2fzd] [i:3nam2fzd]Perhaps[/i:3nam2fzd] with a completely different script and build-up the Scouring could have made it in the movie. However, book and film is very different after all, and much that work in books, simply don't work in films. I am sorry to say it, but I really don't think the Scouring would have been a hit for the part of the audience who hadn't read the books, even with a different script. I know at least one of my friends was happy that they didn't include it, because he didn't like it in the book either (even though he liked the rest). I would have loved to see the Scouring on the EE's though. If they only could have left Saruman alive in Orthanc and added the Scouring as it was, with Saruman and all in the EEs I think it would have pleased the majority of the readers, and perhaps some of the others would have liked it too. [i:3nam2fzd]"So you like the essay about purism except for the parts that seem purist? :lol: :P "[/i:3nam2fzd] Hehe, I meant that your arguements, as always, were solid and reasonable, it's just that I don't agree with them. It's like with many other things, you can have understanding for something, even if you don't like it or disagree with it. [i:3nam2fzd] "especially thoughtful feedback of the sort you gave. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />"[/i:3nam2fzd] Well, they certainly deserved it <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />
[quote="Ringdrotten":yoxnj8hv]This is what I believe is what happened.[/quote:yoxnj8hv] That's what I meant. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> She didn't realize that childbearing would be involved in her marriage to a King until she had her vision. [quote:yoxnj8hv]But I guess Jackson felt he had to prioritize one of them, and ended up with Helm's Deep as the main battle.[/quote:yoxnj8hv] I think he wanted it to be more of a war film. I think that the cinematic result was quite good (plenty of flaws but there still a lot of fun to watch), but I don't think that he had his priorities straight insofar as faithfulness to the book is concerned. [quote:yoxnj8hv]And also, the Star Wars movies don't really need big battles, they have the incredibly epic sword fights concluding every film. Need I mention the greatest sword fight of all time, Luke vs Darth Vader in The Return of the Jedi? <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> [/quote:yoxnj8hv] I don't think LOTR needed a big battle in TTT. It had the Pelennor coming up in ROTK (which, actually, I was underwhelmed by in the movies) and it doesn't need competition. But yes, the [i:yoxnj8hv]Jedi[/i:yoxnj8hv] duel is the greatest ever. It might just be my favourite scene in [i:yoxnj8hv]that[/i:yoxnj8hv] trilogy. :mrgreen: [quote:yoxnj8hv]Actually, that point is so good I won't even bother trying to think out an arguement against it :lol: [/quote:yoxnj8hv] Cool. :lol: [quote:yoxnj8hv]My point was simply that some of the humour in Jackson's movies is acceptable, and that humour shouldn't be overlooked because of the bad and silly stuff.[/quote:yoxnj8hv] Fair enough. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> Jackson tends to get a lot of credit and praise though - more than I think he deserves - which is why I don't dwell much on what he did right since that's typically taken for granted. I suppose I could do to mention where he succeeded more, though. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> [quote:yoxnj8hv]I really don't think the Scouring would have been a hit for the part of the audience who hadn't read the books, even with a different script. I know at least one of my friends was happy that they didn't include it, because he didn't like it in the book either (even though he liked the rest).[/quote:yoxnj8hv] That's perfectly fine for someone to say - I have my own sections of the book that I don't like so much - but I don't think the goal of adaptation is improving the story that was written down, it's retelling it for a new medium. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> [quote:yoxnj8hv]It's like with many other things, you can have understanding for something, even if you don't like it or disagree with it.[/quote:yoxnj8hv] I was just joking. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> Thanks again for your responses. :mrgreen:
  [1] [2] [3] [4] >>