Sunday, January 20, 2013

"The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey" (2012) - Movie Review

I am open to any kind of films in multitudes of genres but for some reason the genre of fantasy never really intrigued this viewer. I believe the idea of CGI entirely taking over the element of pure art did not sit well with me. It is a double standard given the fact that most of the films are made possible by this technology. This has made me to skip conveniently the Harry Potter and the The Lord of the Rings series. I did see the The Lord of the Rings on a lazy Sunday after noon but much of it resembles trying to recollect a boring dream that are represented only in fragments. Here comes “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” which is nothing but boringly expected journey. I think the “unexpected” part is only for the Hobbit character and not the audience.

Peter Jackson directs this supposed epic adventure which takes phenomenal time to even begin. We are thrown into the home of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), the titular character. Thus comes Gandalf (Ian McKellen), the be all and know all for these films. He chooses Bilbo to host a party he clearly does not want and becomes the first act that is nothing short of director’s own fantasy and admiration for the book it is adapted upon. The fans of the book might enjoy this but as a movie it is nothing but a huge laborious overblown piece of scene that extends on and on and on and I can only speak for myself but I seriously wished to break every single plates on these dumb characters.

Then begins the “unexpected journey” which of course Bilbo has no intention of participating but he will, otherwise there would not be a film. He is supposedly this mild mannered character who is been asked by the Wizard Gandalf to rise to the occasion. Bilbo along with these clan of dwarves begins his journey on helping them to reclaim their kingdom from this monster. They go through a long journey that involves of course great nature scenic routes, mountains, weird kingdoms and weird creatures that exist with no explanation. They are judged by their looks and the originations of that are unclear. 

Let us forget about all that and see this film for the purpose of entertainment, shall we? The visuals are breathtaking that goes without saying. The technology has made it like a simplest thing in the world that the audience which includes me have now taken these thing for granted unless there is a punctuation to it. Granted that there involves great number of people working their sweat to pour out the imagination on screen but that simply does not make one to like a film. It takes solid content with some ridiculous labourship in the way it is put together. Peter Jackson’s film lacks the human soul to it and becomes a grandeur fantasy exploitation. It feels like watching  videogame played by someone else that is not even remotely tempting.

It gives you clear picture on the performances if I have not mentioned it for four paragraphs. Then again I would not blame the actors as the writing is simply absent. Films like these that depends upon one liners to keep them alive are next to nothing and  hence the characters are purely cartoonish through CGI. We do not even get to know the crazy twisted names of each to even appreciate and admire their bravado.

It is assumed that you have read the book to appreciate the non-explanation of characters, world and anything that would educate the audience. I am sick of people trying to compare, expect and appreciate a film based on book mainly because both are separate medium and has to be seen for what it is. A book should stand on its own for what it is and so does a film. Now one cannot put aside the material they have read. but when a film is being watched, it should grow its legs, stand, dance and become an entity of its own to show the world what it is. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” expects you to read the book and goes on its business of elongating a simple story into not one but three films. I will reserve my judgment for the next two films but I have a fair idea of what kind of “unexpected journey” that is going to be.

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