The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

As a self confessed uber geek, you cannot imagine my excitement when I finally saw this film advertised whilst watching Skyfall a month or so ago. I am a massive fan of the fantasy genre, in fact until fairly recently it was all I would read. I’ve grown up this way, my dad has read everything of Tolkein’s and knows pretty much all there is to know, simply off the top of his head. As well as reading all sorts of other sci-fi/fantasy novels, he has also written his own novel, and is working in the sequel – I wonder where I get all this sci-fi loving writing enthusiasm from?

The Hobbit was actually the first grown-up book I ever read – I say that but it is of course actually a children’s book – I see it more as a transitional piece to be honest. At any rate, it was certainly the first fantasy book I ever read, and I’ve been hooked since. I was a bit too young (and a wimp) to see the Lord of the Rings trilogy at the cinema, but when I did see them at home they very quickly became my favourite films. I even got the extended edition box set on blu-ray for Christmas! Anyway, suffice it to say I was insanely excited to see the prequel at the cinema.

We’re a bit of a sci-fi family, fortunately Dave, my hubby, loves them too, so in the end five of us went – me, Dave, his best friend James, my dad and my sister. We all had high hopes, but were absolutely blown away by what we saw. Me and my dad had been a bit sceptical as to why Peter Jackson had to split a small children’s book into three films. We had heard that the main story of the book was to be split into two, but they were also making a film of the connection between the two trilogies; basically were Sauron comes from and regains his power. In the book, this is only briefly mentioned as a matter of fact, so it was going to be interesting to see how much they expanded on this.

And that is definitely what the film is – an expansion of the book. Fortunately, you never ever feel as though the film is being untrue to the book, and it even makes mention of some of the more trivial comments in the book, which for most people makes it so special. The characters are all really well done, and Martin Freeman plays a younger Bilbo excellently. Jackson makes a very good introduction to the story, keeping in theme with the LotR films, and making the connection nice and easy, without being too obvious, for those who might not have read the books.

Being a pretty long film at 2 and a half hours long, you honestly don’t feel a bit of that. It’s so well paced, between the action sequences and the story telling, the whole thing flows really well together, especially considering how much expansion and extra detail there is. Ironic, as it’s normally the other way round! The most important scene however, is completely perfect. The riddles in the dark, with Andy Serkis playing a once again amazing Gollum, is exactly as you imagine it when reading the book. The facial expressions of Gollum are absolutely heartbreaking, and you see a bit more of the one-time-hobbit instead of the consumed creature you see in the LotR trilogy.

There are far too many wonderful aspects of this film for me to go on about here – in fact I could wax lyrical about Tolkein almost as much as my dad, and to be honest probably bore most of you rigid. But, even if you haven’t read the books, or aren’t a fan of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I would thoroughly recommend going to see this film. As the book was more for children, the film is more lighthearted, with heartwarming characters as well as comedy, its much less serious than the more grown-up trilogy, but with the astonishing scenery and incredible special effects that go along with it, creating a true Middle Earth that any fan would delight to see.

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

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