Secret Pop

Dec 20, 2001

Fellowship of the Ring

I went to see The Lord of the Rings tonight at the very excellent Vista Theatre on Sunset. I really enjoyed it, although I kept feeling like Alice in Wonderland, the way the film kept playing with perspectives to create the illusion of tallness and shortness in otherwise normal-sized people. I went with friends who were very committed to the books and were audibly dismayed at various times. There was even an utterance of, "Yeah, right," when the credits ran the title, "Based on the Book by J.R.R. Tolkien." I'm very much open to dissenting opinions and was even looking forward to hearing the rationales behind a dislike of the film, but my companions left before the credits finished. I remained and then walked a couple of blocks back to my car, wondering if that was rude of them.

I was very moved by a lot of the film. And am certainly compelled to revisit the books, which I have not read since I was a very young adolescent. I was moved by the weight of things. I wondered what it would be like to have the mantle of "What Really Matters" cast so clearly and obviously on any one thing. I felt that small taste of bitterness when the speck of romance showed itself. I thought about what it might be like to be called onto a quest that took me away from everything. And what it would feel like to have that quest over and to have to return to the normalcy of a life that once seemed fulfilling but suddenly lacked the thrill of more harrowing circumstances. There is an allegory in here somewhere. In many ways, I was moved.

I was not, however, moved by the Episode II trailer I saw before the film began. I scowled for the length of it and thought to myself how utterly shitty a film it looked like it was going to be. This is all part of the magnificent case for leaving well enough alone.

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