Film Review: The Hobbit (An Unexpected Journey)

More cinema! Dave and I are beyond lucky and the fact that we were able to see such a long film is testament to the wonderful people we are surrounded by.

So… The Hobbit. Prequel (if you like the term) to The Lord Of The Rings and a book which is just about a quarter of the length of The Fellowship Of The Ring. I’ve already had my rant about Peter Jackson splitting this book into three parts, but having seen this first part I can kinda see why. I’m not happy about it, but I’m not exactly unhappy either. It’s a curious balance.

The film opens with a wonderful recounting of the events at The Lonely Mountain in which Smaug takes over. For those of you who don’t know the story, or are concerned about spoilers, don’t read on. Bilbo has decided to tell the tale properly as it were, and I found myself quickly checking over Frodo’s fingers to make sure that what we were seeing was before the events of the previous three films.

It was wonderful to see so many roles reprised. I got over my rage over seeing Frodo and Galadriel there at all because it appears that all the events alluded to in various appendices, or over the course of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings books, are being given screen time. Things like the meeting of the White Council, or Radaghast looking into the Necromancer in Mirkwood; all things that we know happen (if you are familiar with the books) but the detail is never really given. It is a nice touch, on some levels, to see it played out, though the purist in me remains rattled that the film does not follow the book religiously. Though there are some beautiful sections near the beginning where the script has been taken directly from the text. I found myself reciting along with the characters – under my breath – and enjoying them speak because I know the passages well enough to do so.

Oh and the dwarven singing! I am most familiar with the BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, but this version of their song ‘Far Over The Misty Mountains’ sent a chill through me. Loved it!

I am very much looking forward to the next instalment – I can’t help it – though I will continue to resent the fact that I have to. I think, it’s going to be two years before I can decide whether or not I am happy with the films overall and whether they are worth the wait.

For now though, I think it is certainly worth watching the film if you are a fan of Tokien’s work, Peter Jackson’s work, or a fan of any of the cast. Andy Serkis, as ever, was fabulous as Gollum and Ian McKellen suits the role of Gandalf right down to the ground.


About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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8 Responses to Film Review: The Hobbit (An Unexpected Journey)

  1. Sarah Paine says:

    I also thought Martin Freeman as a young(er) Bilbo worked very well. He had a lot of Ian Holm’s mannerisms (as Bilbo) down absolutely perfectly and was very believable as a younger version of Bilbo. We loved the film too, despite our very similar misgivings about it being split into 3.


  2. It has been so long since I’d read The Hobbit that I didn’t remember or care how closely it followed the book. I really just took it on its own, and loved it.


    • I think that’s probably the safest way. I’m making a concious decision to accept the film for what it is; a marvellous piece of cinema and accept the book for what it is; a great story, told well.
      That way I should be able to enjoy both without feeling twitchy about one or the other.


  3. jmmcdowell says:

    Once I saw that the Galadriel appearance was actually from the appendices, I was also more comfortable with the telling. But I do think if LOTR “only” got 3 movies, the Hobbit probably shouldn’t be more than two. Still, I’ll see them all! 🙂


  4. Writerlious says:

    Yay! I’m going to see it on New Years Day and I can’t wait!!! 🙂


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