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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey  : Delightful Trip
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Friday, December 14, 2012
Animation Film
Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee and Andy Serkis
Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is unlike any other hobbit. He is NOT a burglar, he loves adventure but he loves his comfort more. Still, when the opportunity for an adventure comes knocking at his door (more like, knocking down his door), he can’t help but accept it. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journeygives you the same feeling as when you find all the missing pieces of a puzzle. Suddenly, a lot of things in Lord Of The Rings (LOTR) start making sense and you get drawn into the world of dwarfs, goblins, elves, hobbits and more.

The Plot: Robbed of their own home by a fire-breathing dragon, the dwarves are left homeless. Soon, their king is beheaded by the orcs. Homeless and leaderless, the dwarves have lost all hope of regaining any home when along comes Prince Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) who not only restores peace amongst them but also promises to win their home back for them. For this nearly insurmountable task, he needs a wizard, a few loyals and a hobbit. With Gandalf (Ian McKellen), the wizard, he finds Bilbo and soon they set out on the murky journey filled with orcs, goblins, werewolves, giant spiders and more dangers than you can ever fathom.

This is also the time where Bilbo meets Gollum (Andy Serkis), gets Gollum’s precious ring and shows the kind of exemplary courage that even he never knew existed in him. This portion is undoubtedly the highlight of the film apart from the fightsequences of course.

The Good: It is a perfect sequel although a little bit longish. The makers’ quest to divide the small book into 3 parts justifies the sometimes unnecessary time spent on minor details and the extra focus on some incidents in the first half, but with the second half the film springs into full action. What is particularly beautiful is that it serves up a background to the LOTR series; like, the moment the ring falls out of Gollum’s pocket, you’ll go “Ahh, that’s how!” and will be delighted by the connection you can make to LOTR.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is shot 48 frames per second unlike the usual 24 frames per secondwhich means it is clearer, sharper and more life-like. The 3D is also decent and the animation and CGI are extremely superior. Fran Walsh’s brilliant script is well supported here.

While the overall performances are brilliant, some like Kili played by Adrian Turner, Andy Serkis’s Gollum and Martin Freeman as Bilbo are indeed memorable.

Howard Shore’s music is superb and director Jackson knows well where to put in that familiar tune.

The Bad: The first-half is lengthy which makes the overall film really long at 169 minutes. Also, what could’ve been made into a single film is now unnecessarily going to be divided into a prequel series. Some war scenes are too grotesque and it will be difficult for some to stomach. But rest assured it is indeed the creation of a magical, beautiful world.

Overall: Despite its length,it’s gripping and you will definitely be sitting wide-eyed, at the edge of your seat in the second half.  With the start of the hobbit’s journey going off well, can’t wait for its installment next Christmas.

– Priyanka Ketkar
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