Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Post #102 -- LOTR: Return of the King and a Happy New Years!

Dear Readers:

Rene: A slight departure to finish off the year. Believe it or not, we've been blogging for about four months and as noted above, this marks our one hundred second posting. So first, thanks to my friend Kari for suggesting the idea. She said we could try to do what is done over at 2blowhards. It has been lots of fun putting to digital "paper" what is rattling around in my mind. Obviously, an odd mix of stuff is rattling in our respective minds, eh? But I'm happy to do it because I think of writing as mental jogging and thus good for my mental health!

And, of course, a big thank you to our readers both intentional and accidental. Hope you will continue to visit us in our little outpost and will find something thought provoking and entertaining here.

Kari: An odd mix of stuff, indeed. Blogging in this format may not allow for extraordinarily deep analysis, but what we may lack in depth we compensate for in breadth. Movies, classical music, pop culture, architecture, literature, the theory of art, science, exploration, invention, faith, comparative religion, the physical landscape, psychology, philosophy, politics, sports, television, morality, quantum physics -- we've opined on them all.

Rene: Now that I've seen "LOTR: Return of the King" as well, I'd like to share the three most touching moments for me from the film. Since there are spoilers for those who haven't seen the film yet, I've "blacked them out." If you want to read the comments, use your mouse to highlight the text box below and you will be able to see the comments.

(1) Theoden was a beaten man in Two Towers and guilt-laden at the beginning of Return of the King. But he found the courage to go on and lead his men and when he was dying he spoke to Eowyn, he said, "I go to my fathers. And in even in their mighty company I shall not now be ashamed." That scene definitely got to my heart.
(2) Aragorn in Fellowship of the Ring was reluctant to claim his identity but in each film he grows and by this film, he claims his place in the world. Each moment, claiming the sword, calling the cursed fighters of old and then leading the hopeless charge on the Black Gate. Wow! He gave that Henry V like speech to rally the troops, turned around and wielded his sword charging off *on his own* shouting, For Frodo! That just sent chills up and down my spine.
(3) Sam says to Frodo, I can't carry the ring for you but I can carry you. Yes, it does sound too sentimental but if you have been following these characters through the films, that moment was as natural as breathing. My eyes stung as that moment passed before the screen.

In the end, Peter Jackson used CGI liberally but NEVER lost sight of the fact it was the characters that the audience was in love with. The film series gets my rarely awarded four stars out of four.

What were your three most memorable moments from the film?

Kari: You're always challenging me to stretch my limited html abilities, aren't you? Well, if this works, readers can do the same highlight-to-read trick:

(1) Sam carrying Frodo up Mount Doom was the greatest moment of the character who, for me, became the true hero of the trilogy. I didn't mind the film's too-long epilogue mainly because it allowed us to see Sam happy and fulfilled.
(2) Fighting the Witch King of the Nazgul, Eowyn demonstrated both how vulnerable and how courageous she was. Despite her yearning to fight to protect her land and her kin, she was going to be defeated if not for Merry. But she fought nonetheless, and she had one of the best applause lines in the trilogy right before she slew her foe: "I am no man."
(3) In appreciation of a great actor in what could have been a cartoonish part, I'll choose the moment in Rohan when Aragorn asks Gandalf, who is despairing about the fate of Frodo and the ring, what his heart tells him. Ian McKellen pauses, takes a short breath, and I swear I could see an actual twinkle in his eye before he says "That Frodo is alive." It's a subtle moment, but one that let me feel the tingle of hope the character was feeling.

I will say, despite my rambling about intermissions in the previous post, I enjoyed every one of The Return of the King's 201 minutes, and I can't wait to see the extended version on DVD, because there are many, many scenes that were significant in the book that didn't make it to the big screen.

Rene: Nice thing about blogging is that we can follow our bliss and write about whatever comes to mind. Look forward to the topics we will tackle in 2004. See you next year, Kari. And happy new years to you and our dear readers!

Kari: It's been fun so far. Here's to a great 2004 for everyone.

Kari and Rene


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