18 January 2015

I Finally Watched The Desolation of Smaug!

Image via Lightly Buzzed.

About time, right?

Six days ago I sat myself down on the sofa and watched The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. And, yes, it was brilliant.

I read The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien two winters ago. Despite its short length (my copy of the book was only 300-odd pages), it took me three weeks to read. Regardless, it was a very good book. I have never read the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I do own an anthology that contains all three pieces in one publication. I look forward to reading the entire series next summer or the one after that, as I don't have much time during the academic year to read for leisure.

My DVD copy of the first Hobbit film.
Image property of The Book Club.

I saw the first instalment in this film franchise when it was released in December 2012. I haven't yet seen the third one, which was released last month.

So, what did I like about the film?

Image via Miss Literati.

Well, what I didn't like is that Bilbo keeps losing highly important objects. In An Unexpected Journey he accidentally lost the ring one or two times, and in The Desolation of Smaug he participated in a terrible imbalance of retrieving and then losing the Arkenstone. (You had one job, Bilbo!!)

On a more positive note, it was intriguing to observe how Bilbo has changed since the first movie. In An Unexpected Journey he was modest, clumsy (see previous paragraph), and not quite self-assured; whereas in the second film, he is more determined and absolutely more committed to his work with Thorin and Company. His clumsy tendencies have turned into stealthy ones as he has adapted to his role as the burglar.

Seeing Smaug for more than ten seconds was, as I consider it to be, a highlight of the story. Watching the relationship between Bilbo and Smaug change between elements of intimidation, hostility, bartering, and impatience -- even in a short amount of time -- held my interest.

I also loved the addition of Tauriel as a character. Tauriel isn't one of Tolkien's ideas, but instead Peter Jackson's. And, a
ctually, the love triangle between Tauriel and Legolas and Kili is one that I don't mind very much. (Perhaps because all three characters are among my favourites?)

I don't think she has been portrayed enough by the end of the second film, and therefore I can't yet describe her as a "strong female character," but I believe she has shown promise as such. Unfortunately, in modern literature and film, female characters who are involved in any romantic (and sometimes sexual) relationships are quickly criticised as being poorly-developed, not well-rounded, and dull. I don't think this applies to Tauriel because she is so much more than simply a romantic tool in the story: She is a military figure, a strong warrior, and she's always evolving through character interactions and plot events.

Humour was interspersed throughout the film. Accompanying this was an assortment of new characters, and I thought that the movie was enjoyable overall. I can't wait to watch the next one! (Although . . .)

What did you like about The Desolation of Smaug? Have you seen The Battle of the Five Armies yet? Lend me your thoughts in the comments!

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