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Adaptations

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On the LOTR topic. I love Tolkien. I did some extensive reading/research about him and his writing for my undergrad senior project. I really admire his work, the amount of research he delved into. It's mind-boggling, absolutely mind-boggling.

And I loved the LOTR movies. I don't understand "rifts" that pop up when adaptations like this arise. Most adaptations are never 100%. Most are (in my opinion) more of a "tribute" to a particular book/story above all else. It needs to have the same heart, the same pulse. PJ's version had both and from the interviews I've read and viewed, he and Fran were two of the biggest fans of Tolkien material. They rolled up their sleeves, they made some creative decisions and came up with something that worked on the big screen.

Being 100% true to the book would have never translated to film. Ever. It's too big. You have to cherry pick what will stay and what will go. Arwen seemed to take on a few roles from the book (characters who were left out, like Glorfindel among one). Tolkien, honestly, didn't know what to do with the women in his story. Eowyn is a great start (though I found her narrative arc in the films to be shockingly lacking given the importance of her stance against the Witch King in the books). But, again . . . I was willing to compromise. What I got in return (seeing the Battle of Helm's Deep, Sam carrying Frodo up Mount Doom, Gandalf and the Balrog) was worth it a million times over.

I think we hem ourselves into a nasty corner when we start considering adaptations and how "true" they ought to be to the book itself. When you see something amazing in real life and sit down to write it, it doesn't always translate to the page. It just doesn't work. It's the same with books, imho--some stories just won't ever jive well on a big screen without a lot of reworking.

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