I haven’t been able to write in the last few days. I had planned to initially write about a topic I had been contemplating for a while, but I am tired today. Instead, I will write reviews for the two events I had attended this week.
Peter Jackson has written fan-fiction almost worse than any of the offerings on fanfiction.net, with his latest Hobbit. I had been aghast when I had watched the previous film. Thankfully, that had prepared me for this one. He has managed to outdo Rajnikanth, in the realm of fantasy.
I got what I had expected – Galadriel-Gandalf romance (no, really), creepy Galadriel (that truly was scary), orcs with backstory (Tamil film script adapted?), mad Thorin (mad Thorin is mad), recursive Sauron (there is a Sauron inside a Sauron inside a Sauron inside a Sauron).
I got things I hadn’t expected – puppet Wraiths dangling before recursive Sauron, Elrond in scarlet (long, long ago, before he had been Elrond, he had been a Queen of the Desert), sand worms (why not throw Dune into it as well?), cool Saruman (dapper with his staff, really).
Lord of the Rings had excellent acting. This didn’t, except for Freeman who did a remarkable Bilbo.
Thranduil was worth the ticket, and the rest of it, because he is just so cool. Legolas takes down oliphaunts, skates down on a shield over men and orcs, rides horses backwards, rides bats and trolls (while killing them), shoots arrows from a besieged tower, and does a lot of other cool stuff throughout, but his father comes on an elk and steals the glory. On an elk. Anybody on an elk should have looked ridiculous. He doesn’t. How does he even?
I was sorry to see the Dwarf-Elf romance (again). Why? Why? I can forgive Galadriel/Gandalf, but not this.
I hope the Tolkien estate won’t let Jackson play with the Silmarillion. I shudder to think what he might make of that.
There was more gore in this film than the others, I think.
There is a prolonged fight sequence between Thorin and the orc with the backstory. It doesn’t hold a candle to the fight sequences in LOTR.
The best part was when Bilbo reached the Shire, at the end of his adventure. The verdant greenery, the cleanliness and the wholesome feel of the place was a refreshing change after the grim, dirty environs of Laketown, orc strongholds and the dark halls of the Lonely Mountain.
Cate Blanchett can still scare the life out of people all these years later. She shouted the halls down in Elizabeth. She has only improved with time. Poor Sauron.
I had been planning to go to the San Francisco Symphony on Thursday. Commuter traffic and a mishap ensured that I didn’t. I made it today. Oh, dear Lord, was it ever worth braving the traffic!
Handel’s Saul is my favourite of his sacred works. His Messiah is, however, remarkable on its own merits. And today, when we rose as one for the magnificent Hallelujah chorus, it struck me hard why it is so revered.
Enjoyment of the music is secular, perhaps, but the spirituality of it pervades the entire composition. This is sacred music, composed by a man who believed (if not in the liturgy, in the morals of the religion). It is music as glorious as this that lulls me into wishing fiercely that the God this was composed for existed. It is all grand, and it is all grandly wrong.
I have an aversion towards sopranos, but today’s soprano had a voice to rival an angel’s. So pure, so heavenly.