Last night I watched The Two Towers, having watched The Fellowship of the Ring a couple of weeks ago. I’m watching The Return of the King tomorrow.
I have two things to say.
When I watched these films for the first few times, I powerfully drawn in to the stories and very emotionally affected by them. Now, having seen them a scary number of times, I am understandably less emotionally affected, but my sense of awe at the beauty and majesty of the film still increases with each watching.
While I could explin all the reasons why this film is the greatest ever (don’t even think about debating that with me!), I want to focus on one reason – the relationships between Frodo, Sam and Gollum/Smeagol are unbelievable. Fascinating just doesn’t do it justice.
You’ve got Smeagol, once a Hobbit who has become addicted to the ring, and has been taken over by his alter-ego Gollum. Gollum has been in control for a long time but Smeagol is gaining strength through his interactions with Frodo. Both Smeagol and Gollum still desire the ring, but Gollum wants to take it now, by force, whereas Smeagol now also has a bond with Frodo and wants to serve him. (This alone would be an amazing character). Then you have Frodo, who is becoming addicted to the ring and is turning into another Gollum, but is placing his hope in the possibility of redemption he sees in Smeagol. He is trudging toward Mount Doom, but each step makes what he has to do harder. And then there’s Sam, who doesn’t trust Smeagol or Gollum, and who is watching Frodo become what Gollum is, trying to help him but being rejected as Frodo turns to Smeagol more and more.
Many people say that the Frodo/Sam/Gollum/Smeagol scenes in TTT and ROTK are boring compared to the rest of the film. I don’t understand this. Of course there is less action and fighting, but the character development is gripping. I love those scenes.