When "Obfuscation" Masquerades as "Artistry"

by DoctorGamgee

I now understand fully what the American Declaration of Independence states:

". . . mankind is more disposed to suffer the evils that are sufferable than to right themselves . . ."

Who wouldn't bury their head in the sand, when a dissenting opinion, thoughtfully approached, predicated with a warning so as not to offend, and well defined in terms of its objectives creates a schism of Black-vs-White polarization allowing for no grey.

Yet, here I am, about to enter the fire. Foolish me.

Here are three things to keep in mind:

1--One can be a fan of the book and a fan of the movie.

2--The Middle Earth Message board was designed for discussions about all things relating to Middle Earth. The book takes place there. The movie takes place there. Comparisons of the stories where the same characters appear is human nature, and should be encouraged, so long as the participants agree to disagree, and do not take criticism of the book and/or movie personally.

3--There should never be personal attacks when disagreeing. Yesterday, I didn't understand something that FredO posted, so I asked him about it, explaining to him what I didn't get when I saw the scene versus what he got from the same scene. He helped me to understand where he was coming from. We both left feeling good about the exchange.

My question for the day is this:

It must be agreed that the Book version and the Film version of Frodo are different. Different media requires making choices as to what to include, and what to exclude, as well as what aspects of the character of Frodo to bring to the front. So why, if PJ wanted to portray courage, wouldn't he portray something couragous?

He portrayed the "Evil" of the black riders rather well. They were big, menacing, cloaked so you couldn't really get a solid look at them, and every time that they hit the screen, the music and sound effects gave you clear understanding that they were the bad guys.

So if PJ wanted us to view his sending Sam away as a heroic choice, why would he have so clearly delineated the deceptive words of Gollum, and made no audible changes to the music when he does send Sam packing (to a heroic "hobbit theme" for example)?

We can all agree that PJ is a good director (to say the least . . . even when I don't agree with his choices, I value the work he has done, it is exquisite!), so why this need to try to "find" what he was trying to show us?

It seems to me, that either it is not there in the first place, or that there is something in us that 'wants' to find it. I am all for subtlty, no one likes to be beaten over the head. However, when you have to go searching for what the real meaning that is trying to be portrayed in a film that so clearly shows something completely different, I wonder:

Was it really PJ's choice of obfuscation (obscuring the issue) on the screen, or are we perhaps trying to find the missing links for ourselves, under the false label of artistry?