Lord of the Rings Audiobook (better than the movie!)

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LINKS TO THE AUDIO FILES: https://www.mediafire.com/folder/cjjdiknzeieol,6jmo2c5q9vbll,jdmyib22aeqpm/shared

I recorded the movies off my television in 2008, but I really couldn’t get into them. It was after listening to the audio books above, that I got into The Lord of the Rings trilogy. You will enjoy the movies, in my opinion, only if you have read the book first. If you haven’t read or heard the book, then it’s hard to get into the characters as they are portrayed in the movie. I felt the characters in the movie seemed sensationalistic and somewhat shallow, because the screenwriters failed to develop their characters, making them more two-dimensional than three-dimensional. The screenplay for The Lord of the Rings trilogy failed to develop the characters like Tolkien did, so the screenplay diluted each character in their depictions and ruined the book. If I was the screenwriter for The Lord of the Rings, I would have concentrated more on the characters and what drove them, and put less emphasis on events or would have shown the events from the perspective of how they affected the characters.

Contrary to popular Hollywood opinion, what makes for exciting drama are exciting characters, even more so than a bunch of slam, bang action. It’s hard to care about the characters in the movie, because the movie doesn’t give us a reason to care. They are all obviously on a mission, but that mission is not made relate-able to the audience (like Tolkien accomplished in his novels) and so you lose those in your audience who want to CARE DEEPLY ABOUT THEIR CHARACTERS. Yeah, they’re brave, but, for WHAT? That question Tolkien answers in his Lord of the Rings trilogy, but the screenwriters in The Lord of the Rings movies fail to address this properly.

The events in and of themselves are meaningless unless you understand how they deeply affect the characters. I don’t think Tolkien would have liked the movies for this reason. Tolkien’s characters are deep, and this makes the events deep. In the movie, more emphasis was placed on conflict, but less on how the conflict AFFECTED the characters. You can’t leave this out, without ruining the story!

Setting had deep meanings in the book, with each setting (each race, each place, each leader) a metaphor representing a type of moral code. The movie didn’t show this AT ALL. And so it not only failed in characterization, but in theme. The book showed a story of various moral codes at war with each other, and the codes that had the most depth, courage and transparency won in the end. In the movie, you saw fierce battles, but the morals were muddled and the “righteous” were portrayed in a broad stroke and we missed the nuances that showed their righteous and courageous hearts. We just saw the quick strokes and the stereotypes, not the fully developed hearts struggling to be real, courageous and genuine.

The movie did not give me a reason TO CARE. Yeah, we could tell the ring was a big deal, but WHY? Yeah, we knew it was evil. But WHY? It seems to put some of the characters under a sort of voodoo spell and it just seemed so contrived in the movie. In the book, when the ring cast its spell, the characters struggled inside themselves between good and evil, which should have been shown more in the movie! The interior struggle could have been developed in dialogue, by taking some of the interior monologue and putting it into dialogue. Also don’t omit any events CRUCIAL to character development. The movie failed to show the interior of the characters, their struggle between good and evil – THAT WAS WHAT THE WHOLE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY WAS ABOUT. But the movie didn’t GET IT!

You might say, you’re being too hard on the movie. Did you know this movie has won a record of Academy Awards? The only reward I care about is whether the movie affects my emotional core, which this movie didn’t do for me, and which THE BOOK DID. Hollywood seems to get more shallow by the year, making their award ceremonies meaningless.