There are few movies that I’ve seen more than once in the cinema. As far as I remember, Coppola’s Dracula, The Usual Suspects, Gladiator and now the Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies.
Needless to say, spoilers to follow.
I had to watch it again, as there are many details to be aware of in this movie. Bear in mind also that my current inability to focus is so huge that I wasn’t aware during the first watch last December 21st that Thorin draws away on purpose Orchrist to be deadly wounded by Azog; the second and definitive stratagem to defeat the orc. The first one was to make the monster loose his balance in the ice platform, but it didn’t work. The second one is to get wounded, and to die, in order to kill Azog, win the battle, and save his people. Thorin is cunning as Ulysses and, as the king of Ithaca, he suffered from madness surrounded by his men. What were the sirens for the mythological hero, was the gold for the king under the mountain.
My favourite scene of all the film is his conversation with Dwalin in the peak of his gold sickness. Fortunately for me someone has broken the law and I have had the chance to see that scene in English; even if as I wrote in the previous post this is the best dubbing of Richard’s voice that I have ever heard, it is not his and his acting in this scene consists in eyes and voice. Awakened from his reveries by Dwalin he faces his friend, still, motionless, but his eyes move from left to right with the same hectic movement of a maddening lion locked in a cage, insisting on his scheme to hide the gold in the deeper vaults of the mountain. Dwalin insists upon the importance of the lives of the people dying that very moment in battle but Thorin remains impassive, replying with the excuse, heard a thousand times pronounced by kings and rulers throughout history, that those lives are a tiny price to pay compared to what really matters. It is only when Dwalin hints that the crown and the gold has changed him that something triggers inside him. That very moment is the beginning of the end of his sickness, when he turns, bends his head as if crushed by the weight of his crown, incapable of pronouncing his old name with a firm voice. That hushed and broken Thorin Oakenshield followed by a desperately roared I am your king summarises Richard Armitage’s acting: to make look simple something that is really difficult. No histrionics needed. As in the last desperate beg to Dwalin go… before I kill you. A dear friend says that this only scene is worth the price of the ticket, and I cannot agree more.
This second view was in my hometown cinema, in 2D and in the smallest of the two theatres, with no more than a hundred seats. I sat in the fourth row (thank you family with two little and noisy human smaugs that made me abandon the seventh) with no heads before me and the whole screen “for myself”. I thought the viewing experience from 3D to 2D would have been disappointing, but it was not. The quality of the film is nevertheless amazing; it is certainly lost the sensation to form part of the set, to be one of the inhabitants of Lake Town or in the middle of the battle with Bilbo and Gandalf.
The dubbing, as I said was good and fortunately not invasive. The panting and original shouting was there and I was able to hear the dwarf war scream in all its glory. I would like to make to mentions for the rest of the cast: Martin Freeman and Ryan Gage. Even if I have not been able to cry even this time (definitely, blame on the dubbing), the last scene between Bilbo and Thorin were convincing on both parts (even if my favourite Bilbo Thorin scene is the “acorn” one), extremely touching and I felt a little pang inside me and my eyes moistened when Bilbo cried. Ryan Gage’s wicked and mean Alfrid is, allow me the expression, like a fresh breeze of human misery in the middle of such a group of courageous heroes.
As I wrote in my previous post about the film, the two and a half hours literally flew away even if I am not a big fan of the fantasy genre. Personally speaking and strictly from the fangirl point of view, I would have prefer less elves and more dwarves in the story.
Hubby pointed me out when we saw together the film, that the dwarves and specially Thorin in full armour have definitely a very Klingon look, and I agree with him.
And, to end with, a question: have you been able to find PJ? I have not.