Laughter and books make life a little easier

Day 19 – Favourite book turned into a movie


This post is part of a month-long series of pre-dated posts running while I am on holiday. Feel free to comment, I’ll get back to you when I return!
Please note that any “reviews” I write here are simply my own opinion and that I am not doing any objective, informative reviews for this challenge. If there are any spoilers in a post, I will indicate it at the top.
I draw the book covers straight from Goodreads and you can click on the images to go to the book’s page on there.

Ahaha! An easy one at last! I knew as soon as I saw the topic. My favourite book turned into a movie is Lord of the Rings. (x3!) I’d watch those movies constantly, only they are a bit long for that. 😛 I think that Peter Jackson and his team really did a great job on this story and they told it on-screen as close as it would have been possible to portray it. Obviously, they changed some things, but I really cannot say that any changes really detracts from the storyline. Like most fans, I’m disappointed that Tom Bombadil’s piece was cut, but really… when you start to think about it, his entire story would have been irrelevant and a waste of screen-time if you do not include the whole story of Valinor, the Eldar, the Maiar coming to Middle-earth… and so on and so on. Tom Bombadil is mostly interesting for speculation about who he really is, if he was the First and for the dream that Frodo had while in his house. He is a hugely entertaining character as well, of course, but without his backstory, he would simply have been reduced to a rather interesting and intelligent fool. I’m not angry that he was not included.

I did read the book before I saw the movies. I know I got the three DVDs for my 18th birthday, which was one of best presents ever. I read the book sometime before that. Actually, I don’t really know when I first read it, not only because I can’t remember, but because I read it across a period of months. So when I started and when I finished, that was quite far apart. I’m not one of those people who managed to stroll through it at age 12 and loved it ever since. I don’t think I’d have been able to read it at that young age. I was still reading Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl at that stage!

In my opinion, there are some of the pieces of the story that is better in the movies than in the book. The chief is example is, of course, the King of the Golden Hall piece. Théodred’s funeral and everything surrounding it was absolutely lovely in the film and it is of course missing in the book. Oh, it’s there, but not nearly in the emotional detail that the film gives to it. Always now, I feel as if the book is a bit lacking there, because of the piece that the movie added in there. I always feel that part was masterfully executed on the part of Bernard Hill.

Another improvement that the movies made was cutting Sam and Frodo’s hike through Mordor shorter. People tend to always comment that Tolkien’s style is too long-winded, but I have never minded that. The only time that I really felt that now he is getting too long-winded was after Cirith Ungol when the two hobbits were creeping across the plain and Tolkien started describing every rock and depression and blade of grass. Then I felt it was getting a bit much. The movie balanced that out much better, with lots of cuts to the other characters, so that the plains of Mordor don’t get so boring.

The three Lord of the Rings movies have made the story accessible to people who would never in their lives have read such a thick book. Both my parents never have and never will read the book. But they watch the movies with me. My mother loves Sam and she actually recognises him when I’m working on LotR graphics. I was quite surprised, because usually she doesn’t recognise these things. I’m not sure how much my father understands of the story, because he keeps asking me and switching the characters up, but he also know what a hobbit is and he refers to people he describes as hobbit-like. Anybody who looks vaguely hobbit-like gets referred to as a hobbit in our house, and everyone understands that, even though only one of us has read Lord of the Rings. That really is something that we have to thank the movies for.

The score to the movies is definitely another masterpiece. I think Howard Shore really outdid himself in that score. The full 10-hour version is something I play when I do assignments. It really helps and I can really imagine Middle-earth playing in my ears. It is very recognisable as well and I caught myself singing the main theme the other day. That is another thing that we have to thank the movies for.

All in all, I love The Lord of the Rings-film trilogy. It’s the whole combination of score, storyline and scenery rolled into one. It’s just wonderful. 😀

Tomorrow’s post is about my favourite romance book… oh dear… 😉


10 responses

  1. Agreed!

    July 13, 2012 at 17:53

    • 😀 😀 😀

      July 20, 2012 at 23:39

  2. Agreed one hundred percent! 😉

    July 13, 2012 at 22:01

    • I knew you had good taste! 😀 😀

      July 20, 2012 at 23:39

  3. Okay. I can tell already that I’m going to be linking back to your posts a lot when I do this. “Well, Elana already chose the book I would have featured, so just read THIS and then come back for my second pick.” 🙂 One thing I liked better in the movie was more Aragorn and Arwen time. I’m a romantic mush pot of fluffiness, so having an Elven princess in pretty gowns and lovey-dovey scenes (despite their sometimes cheesiness) was a dream come true!

    The thing that bothers me most about the movie’s changes, though… Faramir. He’s an amazing character in the book (so far as I can recall; I’m re-immersing myself in the books through an audiobook of them) but in the movie he comes across as kind of… well, he practically kidnaps the hobbits and abuses Smeagol, and it is NOT like that in the books!!

    July 15, 2012 at 05:02

    • *giggle*
      Aragorn and Arwen didn’t even bother cynical me, and that’s saying something! Anyway, it’s not as though the movie-makers sucked that from their thumbs. They got it from Appendix A, after all. Most of it, anyway. 😉
      True. Boromir, Faramir and Denethor all lost something of their characters on screen and became more one dimensional. Must say, the same happened to Merry and Pippin. I guess that is an inevitable side-effect of having to cut stuff to save time. 😦

      July 21, 2012 at 00:10

      • Oh yes, I suppose that’s true. Did you ever read The Sillmarilion? It took me two years to get through it, but a few characters stand out. But I usually get their stories mixed up and feel bad about that. 😛
        Yes, but I think Faramir’s bothered me the most. Wait… Saruman’s death bugged me a lot, too. But regardless, they did a bang up job!

        July 31, 2012 at 04:00

      • As long as I remember that the movies are adaptations, I find myself much less critical and more inclined to see things from the producers’ point of view. It is not pretending to be the book, it is not, as Terry Pratchett says, “the thing and the whole of the thing”. Saruman’s death was… problematic and a bit weird that the theatrical version differed from the extended DVD version, but I guess The Scouring of the Shire was just too much for the movie. Movies should end after the climax, not pick up the story again. 😛 Personally, my peeve is that some of the hobbit children have blond hair, when little Elanor was supposed to be the first… but the bit about Sam and the mallorn tree wasn’t included, so my peeve is probably null and void. 😉

        I’ve read parts of The Silmarillion, yes, but I haven’t been able to get through the whole. I keep putting it down! 😛 I keep getting confused as well, especially between the Elves, because all the names sound the same to me. I really enjoyed the story behind Galadriel’s exile, though!

        Yes, they did! And the soundtrack is absolutely perfect! I’ve no complaints there… in fact I’m listening to it now! 😀

        July 31, 2012 at 19:48

  4. Yep, this is first and foremost. Seond favorite would be Memoirs of a Geisha, though! It managed to cut out a number of scenes that made me a little bit more uncomfortable, and managed to really convey how this girl came to love and be with the man she loved, even through all the trials and tribulations she had. It wasn’t a perfect adaptation – the man never seemed to age at all in the movie (he was blind and quite elderly at the end of the book), and I don’t think it gave enough in the competition between the geisha, but even so, it remains one of my favorite adaptations.

    July 21, 2012 at 21:16

    • 😀
      I’ve heard lots of good things about Memoirs of a Geisha, though it’s not really my kind of story.

      July 25, 2012 at 19:01

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