26 March, 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I have to be honest in saying that The Hobbit wasn't a film I was looking forward too. Lord of the Rings 3 had left a somewhat bitter taste with its, what I found to be, over-use of CGI and special effects. Moreover, The Hobbit wasn’t all that special since I have never read the J R R Tolkien books. Keeping all this in mind, I held back on watching the film during its initial weeks of release.

But, The Hobbit turned out to be a surprise. It left me right smack in the middle of liking it and being in-different towards it. That got me thinking and, just as one would look at the pros and cons of any relationship, I jotted down five points each supporting my like and dislike of the film, which are as follows;

I liked The Hobbit because...

1. The Nostalgia Factor - By that I simply mean that it took me back to the wonderful and surprising world of Lord of the Rings. The world created by J R R Tolkien is fascinating and Peter Jackson once again recaptures it beautifully. Also, The Hobbit released just at the right time after the last of The Lord of the Rings; not too soon and not too late.

2. Adventure – Similar to Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit is one grand adventure full of amazing characters, magic, mischief, tragedy, and some wholesome goodness; the perfect concoction for a successful film. 

3. Gollum - He's back and he's at his split-personality best!

4. Connections - The most fun aspect about The Hobbit for me was linking the film to the various characters and places mentioned in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are plentiful moments of 'aaaaahhhs' and 'oooohhhs' and 'hey that name sounds familiar' thoughtout the movie. For the informed, I would even go as far as recommending making a drinking game out of it.

5. New Story - The best part about the entire LOTR trilogy and now The Hobbit has been the fact that I have never read the books. While it didn’t tickle my fancy initially, as a result, everything is new to me and that keeps the story along with the various twists and turns interesting.

Now, I disliked The Hobbit because...

1. The Special Effects - Mostly okay, but the special effects during some of the fight sequences are a bit over-the-top and just not as engaging as the ones in the first two Lord Of The Rings.

2. The Age Factor - Once again, unlike the LOTR trilogy, The Hobbit ages rather quickly. I saw the film two days back and while I shall watch the next installment, I'm not eagerly awaiting its release.

3. Transformers - I mean come on people. You gave Michael Bay such a hard time about the Transformers films but no one said anything about the poorly done transforming mountains in The Hobbit. A tad unfair I’d say.

4. It's a Trilogy - I had the hardest time waiting for LOTR to finish and now once again the wait starts for the remaining Hobbit films. The good part is that I’m indifferent towards it, but a small part of me does want to see how it ends, so it is somewhat of a conundrum. 

5. It's Repetitive - In a nutshell The Hobbit is once again all about running around mountains and hills and caves, saving primarily a Hobbit, while on a grand quest pretty much like the one we saw in Lord of the Rings. Granted it's presented nicely and that's probably the only reason I'm remotely interested in it.

..and herein lies my dilemma. A part of me, not having read the books, is interested in finding out the end of the story, even though a number of facts are already known thanks to LOTR, but there is a huge part that just wasn't as impressed with the film as it was when LOTR came out.

Rating: 4/5 (Yup! 4 stars because over all the film entertains and keeps the story moving at a good enough pace.) 


  1. For us who have read the books Hobbit is not worth a trilogy. I almost forgot that I had actually seen the movie!

    1. Guess not reading a book is turning out to be rewarding for a change :-) Thanks

  2. The book was actually written as a children's novel. So, it's not complicated or dark like LOTR. But, turning "Hobbit" into a trilogy is too much. However, the whole running time of the movie is entertaining. I also found the special effects, a little over-the-top, especially the climax fight scene. The gollum looked great and intriguing in this movie. If we could forget LOTR and watch "Hobbit" as an stand-alone epic fantasy, then it might seem fantastic.

    1. I agree Arun, that if we could leave out LOTR it would make for an intriguing film. Still, one of the reason why I liked the film was that I wanted to try and guess all the references it had with regards to LOTR. Thanks

  3. Solid review Raghav. After the slow hour or so, the movie then picks up and gets more intense and engaging. Not as crazily intense as the LOTR trilogy, but still works for what it is.

    1. Thanks Dan. I think the first half or so is slow but also important to set the film in motion. Similarly to LOTR once the running around starts, it won't end till the very end, so I didn't mind that. But, it's also too close to LOTR as a film thus making it a bit repetative.