Peter Jackson is back and this time with The Hobbit, where Bilbo Baggins first meets the Ring. There are many other adventures that include meeting a dragon, fighting with orcs and almost getting eaten by trolls. A prequel to The Lord of the Rings, but made after it, The Hobbit follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (played by Martin Freeman), who is hired by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (played brilliantly by Ian McKellen) to accompany 13 dwarfs to reclaim their home, the Lonely Mountain, from a fierce dragon.
There are many things about this movie that stand out, especially since Peter Jackson is directing it. It’s all on a grand scale. It was shot at a higher frame rate (48 frames per second instead of 24, as in most movies). This reduces screen flicker and enhances clarity. It has also been shot at amazing locations all over New Zealand, and you go from vast dry lands to snow-capped mountains in a matter of minutes. There is also the superb background music by Howard Shore, who did the music for LOTR movies as well. Performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the music is haunting.
But the best part of the movie, especially for Tolkien fans, is the story itself. One of the best scenes is when Bilbo meets Gollum (the ring keeper) and they indulge in a riddle game. If Bilbo wins, Gollum lets him go, or else, he eats him. It’s witty, and a great example of JRR Tolkien’s genius.
But the movie has had its share of criticism. Many have mulled over Jackson’s decision to adapt the novel (which is much shorter than the three volume LOTR) into three parts. Some have said that the 48 frames per second technology leaves audiences feeling nauseous and induces migraines. We experienced no such problems and enjoyed the ride.