Friday, December 13, 2013

The Hobbit : Desolation of Smaug review ... Soars high

I am a non-reader of the Hobbit books (i think its wiser to read after watching the movie, so that you enjoy both), and therefore the storyline and events were completely new to me; except for what has happened years later in the Lord of the rings timeline. Even then i thought the first movie in the 'Hobbit' series was a bit too prolonged and had less of content. All that happens in it was the introduction to the middle-earth, which we already were familiar with, having seen three 4 hour movies about it ten years back. Then there was the hobbit who we already knew, again as Frodo's grandfather. The movie was about how he got into this company of 13 dwarves and their quest to regain their kingdom, how he got a magical ring and an introduction about a problem maker called the Necromancer somewhere far away. Well, I didn't think that needed 3 hours on screen. But you know Peter Jackson. He is in awe of things awesome. Now, he is back again with the second instalment, and he wastes no time in any introductions here.

Now that we are all tucked in, he straight away begins with the chase of Wargs and Azog, who are summoned soon by the Necromancer for a new mission. The company continues their journey into the dark forest, and battling wild beings. Then the meeting with the 'Wild elves' who have not been in good terms with the dwarves since, you know, the desolation of Smaug. Its interesting to know that one of our favourite characters from the 'LOTR' series is back in this one, though his character never appeared in the actual book. Legolas, the elven prince, is swift and young as he has always been and was having a grudge against the dwarves which we know he carried till he met Gimli in 'LOTR'. Well Gimli does get a mention about him in this movie. Watch out for that ;) Along with Gimli is the Elven king, Thranduil, who abandons the dwarves during the seige by the dragon as shown in the first film, and a she-elf of lower heirarchy played by Evangeline Lily of 'LOST' fame. This character too was created by Jackson to add more flavour, with a bit romantic spin (well there is Legolas of course, but a triangle might soon be possible. Well, did you expect that?).

For those who thought Jackson was OK, in the first movie bringing in a few sequences of falling goblins on rope walkways and dwarves jumping off the cliff onto eagles, they will be treated to a more charged up Jackson treat with arrows flying around everywhere (yes, in 3D), and dwarves and hobbit driving hollow barrels through a steep current while orcs follow them, and some astonishing action happening all this time in the very persistent Jackson style; don't be surprised if you love it. Jackson is a master with such sequences, especially chases and escapes and wars, atleast in the Middle World.

Another character that comes to the fore is the Bard of the Lake-town, a trade city on the waters that lost its glow after the coming of the dragon. He helps the dwarves to cross the town to reach Erebor. But does he have a backstory? Yes, and I'm sure there's more of him in the next movie too. Played by Luke Evans of let's say 'Fast n Furious' fame, The Bard is an important character of the Hobbit.

Well, the movie is named 'Desolation of Smaug' and till now you thought it might just spring up sometime near to the climax, then you are wrong. You get a full visual treat to the 'Smaug', who is voiced by none other than many people's current favourite Benedict Cumberbatch. Smaug spreads its wings and stands up tall, and soars high. You are amazed by the enormity, as the Hobbit, and you look in awe of one of the reel versions finest, biggest and most detailed dragon ever. Its spews fire all across the Great Halls of Erebor, as the dwarves and Bilbo try to evade it, and you wish it never stopped. But it does; atleast in this movie, and it was sudden and unexpected of Jackson to have ended at a places where people are most attentive. Now you have to wait a full year to see this mighty dragon again.

Elsewhere, our beloved Gandalf the Grey is brought to notice of evil powers stirring and he goes a different path in the very beginning of the movie (as he always does) to enquire about the news. He faces disturbing facts and meets with the Necromancer, finding a huge army ready to fight the world. Well, we already know (even the non readers) about what's to come next, but we still have questions that need answering in the next movie. We know that after this, when 'LOTR' starts many of these characters do not appear then. We have seen what Erebor becomes. We do not know what Arkenstone does in the movie, though we have an idea about the ring. Desolation leaves us on a cliffhanger and the wait will surely kill us.

For those who thought Hobbit might not be a worthy successor to 'LOTR' movies after watching the first one, i recommend you watch this one anyway. You might e surprised what somebody like Jackson can spring onto you just when you think that you have seen it all. So whoever has seen Hobbit 1, i say, must surely catch this one too.

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