Its the morning after the night when many Tolkien fans throughout the world lined up for our first look at The Two Towers. So how are we all feeling?
Relief. What a relief. Weve seen it, at last, after so many months and years of waiting, and generally the impression Im getting is that people are very happy with the movie, and it was worth the wait. People are shaken and moved by it its not a happy movie, but its done with a passionate sense of purpose and dedication. Whatever quibbles we might have with some details, the overall sense is that it is a great work. Overall sense is right, because most people are saying that they have to see it again, they need time to digest it and understand it. I think that FOTR taught us that we have to see Peter Jacksons Rings movies in a new way. You dont swallow them at a gulp. I doubt many people could get much out of seeing TTT if they hadnt seen FOTR and didnt know the books at all. It demands your concentration. Im reminded of Wagners Ring cycle, not because its about a Ring nor because the story takes place over 4 operas, but because the story is told in such a complex, layered way, relying on words, on melody, on leitmotifs that you must memorise and on action. Most Wagner opera buffs do a great deal of background reading and listening so that when they finally see it staged, theyll appreciate the totality of it. Peter Jacksons Rings movies are like that. We wont know how we feel about TTT until weve seen it a few more times and thought about it some more. Interestingly enough, there were many scenes in TTT where I found myself thinking ‘oh, this is a bit rushed but I bet it’ll all come clear in the extended DVD.’ So we’ve learned to wait and trust a little more, since last year, because it turned out that there was so much more of the story that we KNEW, waiting for us on the extended DVD.
Im churning my way through the reviews that are being sent in to the site part of a long process that will go on for months. Hundreds have come in so far and the response is very positive. People are excited and awed, and list dozens of scenes that they thought were perfect or amazing. Theres a lot of agreement that the changes to Faramirs character dont really appeal though, and the scenes with the Ents seem rushed so that their story with Merry and Pippin doesnt develop in a realistic way. Other changes such as the scenes with Arwen have been widely accepted and enjoyed. Almost everyone raves about Gollum and the battle of Helms Deep, and they love all the things they loved about the last movie the epic sweep, the grand landscapes and so on.
This morning the website seems to have closed shop after posting a bunch of reviews and an update were all presumably catching up on sleep or wading through todays email, which has doubled from the usual spate into something that feels like one of those flattening waves known as dumpers. I feel we owe our readers and our correspondents an apology. We used to pride ourselves on answering every single email, even if it was just a simple thank-you note. Now it just isnt always possible, though we continue to try. So I apologise to any of you that the pressure of time has forced us to neglect.
It has been a great pleasure to share the long wait for these movies with so many ardent fans. I hope we have a great time waiting for the last movie, and that we have much to celebrate in the year to come.