Books To Film

They Filmed the Book- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Part 1)

I was a big fan of The Hobbit when I first read it but when the movie came out, I was so excited to see this book I’d loved come to life.  However, some people were a little upset with the film because it took a smallish book and turned it into a trilogy.  Yet, for me, I really enjoyed the drawn out story. I’d heard it said that we should read The Hobbit novel with an idea of “this is what happened” and when we see the movie, it’s more like Bilbo retelling it.  The fish got a little larger but the truth is still there.

While I won’t break up this article into three parts, I did think that two were what I needed to review the film/book without getting too long-winded.  To begin with the movie does diverge, near the end, from the book but it’s still somewhat grounded in Tolkien lore. Yet, the main pieces of the movie are still there, but just more detailed.  We also see a more fleshed out antagonist that pursues the party on their way to the Lonely Mountain.

A lot of the main bits from the book, the flaming pine cones, riding barrels, Bilbo talking with Smaug, and, oh yeah, that whole finding the ring thing are all still pretty true to the novel, with some liberties being taken here and there.  Yet, I think this is a great book-to-film transition because it expands on the source material and adds what it needs to in order for the audience to entertained.

Also, I think that a for non-readers who likely would never experience this fun story, it’s great that it was made into a move because Tolkien’s world and cast of characters are so rich that it’s a shame some people never read his work, or in some instances, simply don’t like it.  However, I love the way The Hobbit film takes us on a simple journey of a group trying to reclaim their home from a monstrous dragon, but find it’s not so simple a journey and defeating the dragon may be the least of their concerns.