Finally I get a chance to write about ROTK after my second viewing last Sat. Have been fighting a flu-type illness and whenever I've got to my pc there's been so much to catch up on I haven't had time for my own LJ!
Anyway, not sure if this is still necessary, but ....
My first viewing was on the day of release, 17 Dec. Went with husband and daughter, who aren't LOTR fans. My husband goes to please me, my daughter has enjoyed the films but thats as far as it goes. I expected to spend a large part of the film struggling to control the tears - but in fact certain scenes hit me with such emotional force that I seemed to sit there completely rigid, almost like being in shock. I was just totally overwhelmed by the complete splendour of it. When I left I felt incoherent, unable to talk about it to anyone, unable to write about it anywhere. All I could think was .. Frodo, my poor, beloved Frodo.
Viewing No. 2 was a lovely surprise. In the mad lead-up to Christmas I'd wondered just when I'd be able to squeeze in the next viewing & imagined it would not be til the New Year. On Christmas morning my husband presented me with my elven brooch, which I knew I was having, but in the bottom of the box were two tickets for ROTK for last Saturday. Bless him! So off we went, daughterless this time, and me dosed up to the eyeballs as the flu thingy had started. I'm not going to attempt a review, I'm no good at it basically, and there are hundreds of wonderful reviews out there. Just some thoughts:
Throughout all three films Elijah's Frodo has been the heart and soul of the story for me, portraying the beauty and ultimate torment of Frodo's soul to complete perfection. He is amazing, totally mesmerising, and to think he was only 18 when he started this is mind-boggling. He really should get an Oscar. Not that I think he's too bothered about this - Lij being Lij, he'll be far more concerned about PJ and the film getting awards than himself.
As stand-alone films, I much preferred ROTK to TTT. However, FOTR remains my favourite, with ROTK a very close second. To my mind, FOTR was complete perfection and seeing it for the first time was indescribable as I was completely unaware of what was about to hit me. I've had two years to think about ROTK and to get to know the books. My own ROTK scenes have played over and over in my head and I had to force myself to discard them before seeing the real thing, which is difficult. I wish PJ had had at least one flashback to happy, carefree Frodo in the Shire, perhaps at CU when Sam discovers him or on the slopes of Mount Doom - Sam sadly regarding Frodo's pitiful state and then seeing, in his mind's eye, how he used to be. In common with others, I wish that certain scenes hadn't been cut or shortened. Or rather, I wish some of the battle scenes had been shortened and the important stuff left alone rather than vice versa. The lead-up to, and the start of, the battles is dramatic & exciting, but once the actual fighting starts, I'm lost - and have trouble following exactly who is fighting who. I certainly hope we'll see the complete CU scene on the dvd. And I'm amazed that the Mouth of Sauron was left out - apparently that was a 10 minute scene which will be restored to the dvd. Imagine the drama of that scene - MOS taunting them with Frodo's little mithril vest. But these quibbles are really of little consequence, set against the magnificence of this film, which really left me in awe.
I can't name one favourite scene, there are so many. And, having still only seen it twice, its more a collection of images in my head than defined scenes. Needless to say, its the Frodo and Sam images that really get to me - all so heartbreaking: Frodo's palpable fear in Shelob's cave, his face when Sam removes the web - the whiteness and the glassy-eyed, unfocussing stare - he looked so compltely dead it made my blood run cold; the hearbreaking scenes on the slopes of Mount Doom, the rising panic in Frodo's voice as he talks of the wheel of fire, just brilliant; the look on his face just before Sam says "don't you let go"; remembering the Shire; the sublime expression on his face as he's carried by the eagle; the special look between Frodo and Sam when Frodo is in the bed; in the cart with his arm around the ancient Bilbo, that just chokes me up; The Grey Havens was beautiful - as was Elijah's narration at the end of the film. I love his voice so much. It's a beautiful combination of gentleness and strength and always as clear as a bell. And just to show that I do notice other things - I loved Billy's singing - hauntingly beautiful.
I can't wait to see it again - preferably alone next time - but one thing is certain, it will be at a different cinema. If I tell you that on this second viewing a large number of people left around the time of Aragorn's coronation you will understand the type of audience we had to contend with. In a word - moronic. They obviously realised they weren't going to get any more blood and guts and that was all they were there for. There was no chance of seeing the lovely drawings of the cast as the credits rolled and Annie Lennox sang - the mass exodus was blocking most of the screen as we weren't very high up. Just unbelievable.
Anyway, not wanting to end on a negative note, I look forward to the time when I have all three dvds - there are parts of TTT I love as much as FOTR, there are many, many parts of ROTK I love as much as FOTR - so I will just regard it as one massive film, without a doubt the greatest of all time.
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