Anwyn's Non-Review of The Return of the King
Yes, that's right, I said non-review. Why? Because I have not yet seen the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Yes, that's right, I said I haven't seen it. Why? Because I have a three-month-old baby, my precious Christopher, and I'm a little too tied down at the moment to sit through a three and a half-hour movie.
But I will see it. In January. In the meantime, I offer a short holiday musing for those of you who may have been missing my Counterpoints since Christopher was born--and some of you have written to tell me so; I appreciate it more than I can say.
We went to the theater, Christopher and I. We went because I am a line party leader, this year with a costume contest, just like last year. We went because I started something in 2001 that I wanted to see through to the finish. So we met up with Christopher's grandparents at the theater, and he was a perfect little angel boy while I helped MC the costume contest with my excellent planning partner, Deane Geiken. We had lots of adorable kids dressed up as Ithilien warriors, Elven princesses, Hobbit lads and lasses, and the incomparable Julian Geiken, nine years old, as Gollum. To watch him hop across the stage on all fours and then rock back and forth and croon, in a scratchy voice worthy of Andy Serkis, "Rock and pool is nice and cool, so juicy SWEET (WHACK went his stuffed fish on the stage); our only wish, to catch a fish, so juicy SWEET!! (WHACK!)" was priceless. In addition, we had lots of creative adults dressed as Gimli, a massive (ugly) Orc, and even a Lady Dwarf. We left before the movie started, Christopher and I, but the costumers and Christopher's grandparents stayed and presumably had a great time.
Today my landlord paid a little visit to do some work on the house. I mentioned that I write for TORn and was telling him what we did last night at the theater. He perked right up and said, "Oh yeah? I'd never seen those movies till this summer, I was at my cousin's, and we watched them, and I thought, ÔMan! How come I haven't been watching these all along? These are great!" Asked if he'd ever read the book, he responded (as I thought he would), "No. People say they're great, but I never did."
And this is really all I want to say in this little un-review. People are touched by these movies. I am finally getting that, after two years of wrestling with the fact that I cannot enjoy them as they were meant to be enjoyed because I know too much about the story Tolkien wrote. People are touched, and it doesn't matter that I know that Faramir would not have picked up the Ring if it were lying in the road; it doesn't matter that I know that Aragorn never fell into a river or that Arwen never decided to go West or that Treebeard never decided not to help. Though I can't see it as clearly as people who have never read the books (and some who have), people are touched by these films, some seemingly as much as I am touched by the book.
And in the end, that is the greatest measure of Peter Jackson's success.
Enjoy your Christmas, folks. Have a wonderful New Year. Christopher and I certainly intend to.