Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: <i>There's Something About Merry</i> .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Saturday, March 05, 2005

There's Something About Merry

I got The Return of the King-Extended Edition for my birthday, and just finished watching it.

I'm curious, though. With all the stink about SpongeBob and Teletubbies, none of the wingnuts have latched onto the relationship between Merry and Pippin. After the battle for Minas Tirith, while Aragorn is sponge-bathing the luscious Miranda Otto (Eowyn) back to health, Pippin is frantically searching for Merry on the battlefield. It seems that a little more than cameraderie is happening there. Add that to the fact that Peter Jackson bears a striking resemblance to Michael Moore (have you ever seen them together?). If I were a right-wing pundit, I'd be all over that.

That said, kudos to John Rhys-Davies. His comic antics expanded the character of Gimli beyond what Tolkein put forth, and added levity to otherwise potentially tedious episodes. Whether it was Jackson's idea or Rhys-Davies' is immaterial - it works.

I do wish, however, that Jackson's epic had included the Hobbits' return to the war-torn Shire. To me, that was a powerful part of the story, and defined the Hobbits' characters more than his abbreviated ending allowed. That and Frodo's pain that eventually lead to his leaving the Shire for the West, and Sam becoming Mayor. That Jackson ended it so neatly leads me to believe he was leaving it open for a sequel (no, not a prequel, I know that's already in the works).

Overall, I think Peter Jackson did a fine job of interpreting J.R.R. Tolkein's classic, even though he took advantage of artistic license in several areas. Purists may not agree with me, but that's their right. As long as books are still legal, we don't have to rely on someone else to interpret literature for us.

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