Movie – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Director – Peter jackson

Music – Howard Shore

Rating – 4/5

Afficianados of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (LOTR) series mostly would have been familiar with the prequel to the events of that series which are chonicled in The Hobbit, the tale of Bilbo Baggins’ journey to ‘there and back again’. For them, and for those who find themselves hearing of it just about now, Peter Jackson’s cinematic adaptation of Tolkien’s earliest work, presents an enthralling 169 minutes of Middle-Earth fantasia, a compelling watch for hobbits and men alike.

The Hobbit follows Bilbo Baggins (the uncle of Frodo, hero of the  LOTR franchise) as he is taken, most unwillingly so, aboard the Dwarves’ expedition to the Lonely Mountain to recover their home and treasure form the terrible fire-breathing dragon, Smaug. Gandalf, the pyrotechnics expert and wizard of fame, handpicks Bilbo as the official burglar for the team of the Dwarves, who are led by their prince Thorin and it remains to be seen whether the timid and reclusive hobbit will make himself of use for them, or be a liability, and whether the Dwarves, a most exclusive race among  themselves will accept him into their fold.

While it seemed implausible at first that Jackson could make a nearly three hour-long movie while still covering effectively only the first six chapters of the book, in his bid to make three full length movies out of only a 300 page novel, this first installment in Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy pans out as a very well structured film. With the constant action occurring throughout, there is no dull moment, nor does the entire movie seem forcefully elongated. In addition to Tolkien’s own ingenuity, the director has lent the movie generous dollops of his own ingenuity by creating new and parallel storylines and a certain authenticity to the battles in the tale, which in the novel seem to read as juvenile.

This brillanct example of directorial intervention is further embellished by the convincing performances of Ian McKellen as Gandalf, a character to which he has lent expert performances over four movies now. Martin Freeman as the bumbling, timid, constantly bemused, yet guileful in his role as a burglar makes an impressive first appearance in the series of movies revolving around Middle-Earth. Richard Armitage, as Thorin, the leader of Dwarves puts in a comprehensive execution of his role, charismatic and confident. Howard Shore, who already gave us the award-winning music for the LOTR series once again is spectacular, providing the exact strain of music as every scene demands individually.

By way of summing up, we suggest that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the perfect film to watch to sign of 2012 on a high, with the promise of a 2013 that promises much to us by way of cinema lurking right around the corner.