The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

The most difficult of the three Lord of the Rings films to write is this middle one. It is supposed to provide some exposition for first time viewers, introduce seven more major characters, and leave the viewers hanging in limbo as there is still almost 4 hours left in part three. I think the writers did a fine job.

They didn't think there was enough tension in the story however and so the film veers wildly off course from the novel in The Two Towers. Frodo and co. are taken to Osgiliath. Travelers to Helm's Deep are ambushed by wargs. Aragorn barely survives the attack and is thought dead for a portion of the film. Elves show up to help save the Rohirrim. As much as these deviations bother me, they were inspired additions to the story (with the exception of the warg attack and Aragorn "dying").

What really takes this movie to the next level are the new characters. The Gollum/Smeagol split is captivating and viewers are instantly sympathetic to the pathetic creature. Treebeard's humour and originality adds a quirky personality to the cast. King Theoden of Rohan is fantastic as a conflicted, grieving, confused, and noble leader. Each one steals the scenes they are in.

Whereas in the first film we had one main narrative following the fellowship on their journey south, we now have seven major narratives: Frodo and friends, Treebeard and the hobbits, Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli, royalty from Rohan, Faramir and Gondorian soldiers, Arwen and Elrond, Saruman at Orthanc. The filmmakers do a terrific job of referencing the different stories and bridging the scenes without losing pace.

Now for the crowning piece of cinema that won 13 Oscars.
(FOTR and TTT took 6 combined)

Official Site | IMDB

No comments: