From: Cristian Lupsa

Romania ready to hobbit!

Tolkien’s masterpiece, “The Lord of the Rings” was first printed in Romania between 2000-2001 with the “Return of the King” hitting the book stands in September 2001. There wasn’t much fuss about the work itself thus not many were drawn to the book. The ones who did, were probably sucked in by the Sunday Times Review that was quoted on the cover: “There are two kinds of readers: those that read Lord of the Rings and those that are about to do it”.

Hobbits, dwarfs, trolls, orcs have an incredible potential to conquer Romania, as the country’s mythology would provide plenty of space for them to run around. When the movie was officially released on February the 8th, I was there to see it. Tolkien had already been in my mind for a while, and such a grandiose epic is something you just can’t miss.

I was a bit surprised that although advertised, the movie wasn’t hyped up as much as it should have been – in relation to the book – and I was wondering if people would come and see it. The theatre was full when I arrived there 30 minutes earlier. The ticket line was impossible to tackle so for the first time I bought a ticket from some impromptu salesmen. The normal price of the ticket is 50.000 lei – still a lot of money for a movie in Romania [around 1.80 dollars]. I paid the “black market” ticket sellers 80.000 lei for one! But I had to see the movie!

Probably very few of the people at the theatre that night had read the book. I was one of them. And discovering every character and even some of the phrases in the book was a giant satisfaction. Not everyone in the room seemed thrilled as there is a part of the Romanian audience has the bad habit of commenting every scene in order to get the others laughing at their stupid jokes.

They applauded when Aragorn slit the big-ass Orc’s throat and looked happy to have seen the movie everyone makes such a big fuss about. I wondered how many made comparison’s with the book. I wonder how many went home to analyse some of the scenes. Probably Tolkien is yet to earn his Romanian “hobbit-lovers”.

I am one. Soon, others will follow.