Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DeLong Illustrates a Point

In a post of interest about the future of Academe, and of Berkeley in particular,  Brad DeLong illustrates a point with the following:
There were plenty of people who were disappointed when The Lord of the Rings movies came out because the characters didn’t look anything like the characters they had created in their own minds.
Hmmm... My disappointment with LOTR was in the destruction of Tolkien's plot and characters. Tolkien wrote Aragon as a hero -- not as an angst filled mid-twentieth century Willy Loman. Elrond was committed to Sauron's defeat no matter the cost -- not a mingy Wall Street lordling more concerned that his prospective son-in-law was unworthy of his Long Island Princess then that evil might prevail. And, for Christ's sake, Tolkien wrote high romance, not maudlin boy gets girl stuff. Yes, Aragon worried that he was unworthy -- but that was before he committed to the fellowship. There were far greater concerns then his worthiness after that. Of course Elrond grieved that his daughter might give up her immortality. But he knew that Sauron's dominion must be defeated, regardless. His gift was not niggard but freely given. The LOTR writers seized on the appendices to justify their need to expand the female characters in ways acceptable to the money men in Hollywood.
Finally, more CGI orc slaughter-- and too much antic Gollum --was not an adequate replacement for the wonder of Tom Bombadil who places the entire saga in perspective when he peers at Frodo through the ring. And laughs.
Given all that, what the actors looked like, or sounded like, or anything else was so secondary as to be lost to view.

Does no one else feel that way?

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