Monday, December 9, 2013

Musical Monday - The Hobbit Christmas Song by The Doubleclicks

I love Tolkien's work. In his prose, Tolkien was able to capture a fantasy world that felt undeniably real, filled with mystery, wonder, and a little bit of whimsy, but organic, and without a feeling of forced artificiality that some fantasy fiction falls into. Consequently, I have been both delighted and disappointed by Peter Jackson's adaptations of his work, mostly because Jackson's vision, although very close to the mark, is sometimes just a bit off target, resulting in a product that is excruciating because it is so close to being spot on and yet not.

The Lord of the Rings is a story of an epic nature, and so Peter Jackson built an epic series of movies to tell the story. But The Hobbit isn't an epic story. Sure, it is about a quest to slay a dragon and restore a nation of dwarves to their homeland, but that's just the excuse for the real story, which is the journey and self-discovery of a very small and provincial hobbit. The story of the hobbit is small, personal, pastoral, and in many cases childish. And so when Peter Jackson decided to try to make it a series of big, epic movies just like the one he had made for The Lord of the Rings, it was the exact wrong thing to do. The first movie was overlong and tedious, bloated with a level of self-importance that the story just couldn't hold up. Instead of elevating the movie and making the story more interesting, the added material doesn't build the story up, but instead weighs it down. And the second movie doesn't look to be any better in this regard.

But that doesn't stop the Doubleclicks from making the perfect Hobbit song which captures the wonder and spirit of Tolkien's book while wishing and hoping for a Hobbit movie that they can love unreservedly. Granted, they wrote and recorded the song last year, before the first installment of the bloated trilogy was released, so they were justified in some of their happy optimism. And I shared that optimism. I desperately wanted a beautiful Hobbit movie that would capture the tone of the book in the same way that Angela and Aubrey have captured the book's tone in their song. But even though I was disappointed by An Unexpected Journey, I'll still go to see The Desolation of Smaug, and I'll still love the joy and happiness in this song.

Subsequent Musical Monday: 12 Days by Straight No Chaser

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