Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Third Hobbit and the End of an Era

I am about to wax emotional in this post about The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies. So, be prepared with your Lactaid so you can handle all of the cheesiness.

I realised as I entered the theatre on opening day that it signified the end of an era. It would be the last Lord of the Rings or Hobbit movie premiere that I would ever attend. This made me feel even more grateful to be there. 

I remember distinctly my first experience seeing a film about the wonderful world of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. I was only 11 at the time, and had not been introduced to the books yet. I knew nothing of Orcs or Hobbits, and I had never heard of Gandalf the Grey. My world was about to be turned upside down.

Pick me, pick me!
One day in Chicago, my father suggested we see The Fellowship of the Ring. When my young self discovered the PG-13 rating, I became afraid. At that time, just about any movie monster could potentially give me nightmares for weeks at a time. Actually, not much has changed as far as that goes.

However, my father insisted that it was nothing I couldn't handle, so I agreed to go, though with some reluctance. The instant I beheld Tolkien’s magical world and became acquainted with its inhabitants, I never wanted to be anywhere else.

For every subsequent film, I was there on opening day, sometimes dressed like a creature from Tolkien’s wonderful world. I read the books from cover to cover and loved every second I spent traveling through Middle Earth with all of its inhabitants. I became obsessed to say the least with the films, memorising every line and seeing them many times in theatres.

Peter Jackson has quite the talent for making me cry. No matter how many times I watch The Fellowship of the Ring, I always tear up at the end when Boromir gives his last to save Merry and Pippin. Emotions well up inside me when Sam gives his speech about the fight between good over evil. When Aragorn gives his speech to motivate the troops in the second film, I want to burst through the screen and fight Sauron’s minions myself.

Hold on, let me just get my tissues...

In the last instalment of The Hobbit trilogy, I felt tears welling up behind my eyes at least three separate times. Honestly, it wasn't my favourite of the six Peter Jackson films, but it succeeded in captivating my attention for the entire running time. It was appealing visually, it was emotional, had plenty of action (and of course, some over the top battles featuring Legolas doing badass elf things), and a perfect ending. Martin Freeman was perfect as Bilbo, as usual. 

The songs in the credits of Jackson's films are generally quite impressive, but unfortunately Ed Sheeran, the best singer in the entire world, already sang for the last one so I knew that nothing could top it. I was right of course, but I enjoyed hearing Billy Boyd's (the actor who played Pippin) song nonetheless.

The Japanese teacher who accompanied me to my final Lord of the Rings premiere summarised the film better than I ever could. He said “to me, it is about love, friendship and fight for good.” Well said, sir, well said. I will hold these messages in my heart.

And so, as Gandalf sings, "the road goes ever on and on, back to the door where it began." 

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