Books to Big Screen: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

So I’ve seen both the 3D HFR (High Frame Rate) and 2D version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and I’m currently re-reading the book by J.R.R Tolkein, so I thought I would share my thoughts on both the film and the first third of the book corresponding to it.

So firstly, let’s discuss the book.

The film corresponds to the first six chapters of the book. My thoughts on the book are that the length of the content was just right. My favourite parts of the book was the part with Gollum. I love that scene in the film as well. The Hobbit has a much lighter feel that The Lord of the Rings and as a result is open to more humour and I found it more fun to read, where as LOTR was more intense and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. With The Hobbit, I felt like I was going along for the adventure.

Overall, I feel that the plot moves at a nice pace and no corner relating to the integral plot is lacking. I love the songs that are interpreted into the book and my hope is that the films with continue to do so. The characters where all likable and I felt that the dwarves interacted well with each other. No one was really left without any development which isn’t as present in the first film.

Now moving on to the film.

Firstly, I want to talk about the acting and the actors who played various roles. I want to congratulate Martin Freeman on a brilliant depiction of Bilbo Baggins. I was worried that because another actor had already played the role they may bring different feels of who the character is, but hats off to Freeman who really capture the feel of the character and also was able to convince me that he and the previous actor were the same character.

Of the dwarves my favourite were Balin, Bofur and Thorin. James Nesbit as Bofur plays a very light hearted and witty character. His accent also stands out from the rest of the dwarves so his character is particularly memorable. Thorin, played by Richard Armitage, was more stern in the film than the book I felt, though this may change in the two yet to come. Balin was exactly as I imagined he would be and this is one of the reasons I loved his character so much. He was cheerful and wise and looked like he would be the kind of dwarf who would look after you in any situation.

Moving on from the acting and to the changes from the book. There are a couple of key differences to the plot that don’t take away too much from the overall quest, but I feel give the film a bit less of a constant motion. The scene in Rivendell, where we see cameos from Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Christopher Lee as Saruman was a particularly unexpected scene but I felt changed the pace of the film and prevented most of the clips to be of Thorin and Company running through the East Road and the Misty Mountains.

I had two favourite scenes throughout and they are the scenes with Gollum and Radagast. Simply because I love both of these characters. I think Andy Serkis does a brilliant job as Gollum, yet again, and this scene was just as tense and amusing as I anticipated. I really felt that Serkis and Freeman worked well together in creating this intense atmosphere.

Lastly, I wanted to comment about the 3D HFR vs 2D. Personally, I loved both versions. Normally, I hate going to see a film in 3D because the glasses are a pain (because they don’t fit very well over the ones I wear on a day to day basis) and most of the time the 3D isn’t necessary. However, the glasses in my cinema had changed so I didn’t have to sit pushing them back onto my nose the whole film and could enjoy the detail the went into the movements. The HFR was definitely noticable and made the picture gained an enhanced clarity and was visibly smoother. Not only that but the 3D wasn’t just bits of the film flying towards you, I could see actual depth to the scene and this really impressed me. Definitely my best experience with 3D so far.

Also seen on Brit Writers Blog

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