Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Hobbit - unexpectedly boring

I must admit, I was extremely disappointed last year (December 2012 to be exact) when I was not able to catch up "The Hobbit" in cinema. I've been waiting it for years to arrive in the big screen so just imagine the exasperation I felt when it was finally shown and no one to go with.

Fast forward April 2013, after doing some DVD marathon and became greatly enchanted with Legend of the Seeker series, I tried to go back to the Lord of the Rings finest days by re-watching the three installments because it has something to do with my fascination towards Legend.

Legend and Lord have so many things in common. They shared the same genre - fantasy adventure. Both were filmed in the breathtaking valleys and wilderness of New Zealand, in fact when you watched it successively, you will notice the identical location of each scene. They had almost the same concept --- quest and wizardry. But the similarities ended up there.

While Lord of the Rings executed some of the finest sound and visual effects the world cinema had ever known, there's one important ingredient missing -- the magical quest of romance. Everyone loves fantasy but it is more appealing and spellbinding if two people moving on the big screen, fighting enemies, riding the thrill of spell and magic have at least some personal issues to battle on --- affairs of the heart.

You know amidst the terrible hurdles of saving the world and mankind in the fantasy world, fulfilling the mission, defeating evils and tyrants, viewers are still looking for that pang of magic sprung from the human heart -- that is to see the heroes and heroines fall in love. It makes the movie experience more exciting and memorable. 

It is what makes us relate. We cannot be like Frodo or Gandalf or Arwen or Legolas but we can at least felt love amidst the chaos in our surroundings. This important ingredient of romance in an epic adventure is what makes Legend of the Seeker different. We cannot be like Richard the seeker or Kahlan Amnell the confessor or Darken Rahl the tyrant or Cara Mason the Mord-Sith but we can at least felt love, fall in love just like them.

So after doing marathon on both shows, I remember what I had missed last December 2012 and since I am currently in the spell of magic and could not get over with the fantasy and tricks, I've decided to finally buy a copy of "The Hobbit". Its significance to my latest obsession is massive, aside from being the prequel of Lord of the Rings, the film is also shot in New Zealand.

So one lazy evening, I started watching it.

I don't know if it's for my senses, my mood at the moment, the DVD copy I bought or my obsession towards Legend of the Seeker, but after one hour I began to take a deep long breath, releasing fits of sigh and yawn, clear signal that I am slowly entering the parameter of extreme boredom.

Thirty minutes later I began hitting the "forward" button of my laptop. At first, I thought the trouble was in the DVD copy I bought so I stopped forwarding and patiently followed each scene, I even went back to the beginning of the film. But I could not really take it, not that I didn't understand the sequences of the film or scarcely grasped the adventure-of-the-elves plot but the entire thing is really tedious and awfully exasperating. 

I just can't believe it! The Hobbit, with all its glory and fantasy, is painfully boring and dull! Now I am very thankful I did not waste my money catching it in cinema.

what the story is trying to prove? It was just a simple journey of a wizard and elves in the barren mountain to reclaim a Dwarf Kingdom with dragons and goblins as nemeses, a story that can only be told in 30 minutes but stretched to almost three hours. If I am the student of that storytelling class I would be scrambling at my feet and left the room instantly.

The point of the story is just to lay a framework for Lord of the Rings so Bilbo Baggins was put into the center of the story and thrust to the scene where he must fell into the dark cave and encounter this ghastly creature named Gollum and take the ring and plunged the world into darkness, that's it no more no less.

And as if to add a little spike of history, the plot incorporated the concept where Bilbo prepared a book that chronicled his journey with the elves and obviously in finding the ring of power. His intention is to leave the book to Frodo, his nephew, so that well, maybe, when he is gone, his quest will be remembered sort of thing.

But I don't know, maybe I am too idealistic when it comes to fantasy adventure genre and I am looking for some elements which could not be provided with The Hobbit. But personally, well, I just realized there's no need to film The Hobbit to understand Lord of the Rings.

And to my shocking glory I read that the unexpected journey is just the first installment of the three film series of The Hobbit, oh my God! Please do not make it a series! What a catastrophe. One installment is enough! 

Reviews from film critics are unflattering and it scored 66% in rotten tomatoes which means The Hobbit did not live to the hype of fantasy, it did not meet expectations of a memorable film.

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