Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guilty Pleasures...

I'm going to incriminate myself slightly in admitting something that I can't seem to get enough of...

I cannot get enough of the Hobbit.

Now this may come as a puzzling revelation to some. As most know I'm not much of a Lord of the Rings fanatic. I definitely appreciate the films and the epic story, but for whatever reason I just couldn't relate to Frodo as a character I could see myself in. I also felt like there wasn't enough comic relief for me. & that's not Peter Jackson or Tolkein's fault. By default, the trilogy is not a light-hearted adventure like Harry Potter or the Chronicles of Narnia.

Which is why I was surprised how much I loved the Hobbit. And I really love it! I've seen the film a total of 3 times, and I'm actually contemplating seeing it for a 4th time on Saturday.

Why did I love the Hobbit when I felt indifferent towards Lord of the Rings? I mean it's almost the exact same story right?

I think there are a few reasons why the Hobbit spoke to my soul far more than the Lord of the Rings. First & foremost, there's Bilbo Baggins, who is a timid, cautious soul who is comfortable in his hobbit hole surrounded by good food, good books and good comforts. However, there is a part of him, however small, that does yearn for an adventure, though at first he fights against it and doesn't want to admit it. The truth of the matter is that he became so used to his life and what others expected of him that he buried those feelings of longing deep within him until Gandalf comes and changes his mind.

For being as faint-hearted as the other dwarves seem to believe he is, Bilbo surprises them slowly and time after time. He proves himself over and over again as a plucky, resourceful and clever hobbit.

The other reason I loved the Hobbit as much as I did was Gandalf. He's always known for his deep and insightful one-liners but there were several in this film that really stuck out to me.

When Gandalf gives Bilbo a sword, Bilbo is decidedly uncomfortable and says "I've never used a sword in my life."

Gandalf replies, "And I hope you never have to use it. But remember this, true courage is knowing, not when to take a life, but when to spare one."

Bam! Way to go Gandalf! There is so much truth in that simple statement, and I had honestly never thought of it that way before.

The next memorable moment with Gandalf is when he's explaining to Galadriel why he chose Bilbo for their quest. He admits he's not sure, but then goes on to say, "Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? That's because I am afraid and he gives me courage."

This also hit home to me, not only for the Gospel references it alludes to, but also how remarkable one solitary person can be. Bilbo didn't have any extraordinary skills or abilities to contribute to their adventure--he was afraid for the majority of the film, and yet Gandalf gleaned great courage from Bilbo.

Something that has always been a huge contributor for my love of movies is the soundtrack. And Howard Shore does not cease to amaze me. The Misty Mountains by Richard Armitage was fantastic! & still gives me goosebumps. Over Hill is the very essence of an epic quest track, almost making you want to head out with the rest of them!

Another reason why I loved the Hobbit was because of how much comic relief was in the film. I actually laughed out loud on several occasions! I couldn't remember that happening while watching Fellowship or Two Towers. Radagast the Brown was hilarious! The dwarves were loud, raucous and delightful. Even Gollum made me chuckle several times.

Lastly, I loved the dwarves. Not only were they hilarious, but several of em were pretty doggon good-looking too! Thorin Oakenshield, Fili & Kili, & even Bofur were pretty hot!

So there you have it. The movie that I continuously go back to over & over again is a movie based on a book I wasn't a fan of, and part of a franchise I didn't particularly care for.

It's amazing how even at 23 I think I've grown up, and have specific tastes intrenched in me, but I continually surprise myself with realizations like this.

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