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Film Review – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Director: Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens
Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian Mckallen, Richard Armitage
Genre: Adventure Fantasy
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall Cine 4
Rating: ****

This time we are introduced to the world of Bilbo Baggins, (Martin Freeman) who is our lovable character, the Hobbit. Baggins is a carefree, crockery loving creature whose world is turned upside down when he is recruited as burglar by a group of Dwarfs and Lord Gandalf the Grey (Ian Mckallen).A younger and more reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out on an “unexpected journey” to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of Dwarfs to reclaim  their stolen Dwarf kingdom of Erebor from a dragon named Smaug. Together they embark on a journey where they come across giant spiders, sorcerers, goblins and orcs, and Bilbo meets Gollum who changes his life for ever when he stumbles across Gollum’s ring.
It is always a daunting task for any director to personify the characters of a brilliant folktale. Whether the characters are from CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia or JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter,” the task is most formidable. This is probably why authors of fantasia such as Terry Pratchett are seldom trifled with within the movie industry. His books tend to be relentlessly amusing in terms of the writing style (puns and all) and that imagery that gives you a tingling feeling inside. Yet JR Tolkein’s movies have managed to be personified.
Before watching the film I was begging on the inside for the film to at least have the same artistic style as the Lord of the Rings. Well lets say someone heard me as the artistic style is like that of the Lord of the Rings. Phew! They did not ruin it for The Lord of the Rings Fans. Thank you Peter Jackson. The hobbit does not fall short of the brilliance created in the Lord of the rings trilogy. For those who have read the book, it’s a dream come true to see long lost  and loved characters finally depicted in a movie.
The movie is amazing and is unlike anything I have seen, gorgeous scenery, the acting is fun and delightful and goes according to the story in the book, word for word. I will admit I was a little nervous about the length of the film and said to myself “oh no, now how am I going to survive 169 minutes of a hobbit, dwarfs, goblins and other creatures” but to my surprise those minutes moved so quickly with every bit of enjoyment from the adventure. I felt like I too was part of the adventure, even found myself trying to dodge arrows, duck rocks and boulders  and lowering my head every time one of the characters had to go under a branch or something.
Martin Freeman is wonderful  as the Hobbit, he is sweet and vulnerable which made me fall in love with him despite the fact that he is a little wimp on an adventure where each character is supposed to be a hero . His spirit to fight makes him a hero. There is eye candy in Thorin (Richard Armitage) which makes it even more pleasant to watch. One can’t help but drool over the mighty warrior.
The first installment of the Hobbit is brilliant. Brilliant chemistry between the actors, a brilliant script, brilliant scenery as well as great stunts. Never have I watched a film in which the characters interacted so well with one another. It’s a pity we have to wait until 2015 for the second installment, either way I can’t wait for the sequels.

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