[Movie] The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

  • Directed by: Peter Jackson
  • Cast: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan
  • Based on: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

from the movie

Here comes the second part of the movie adaptation of the “The Lord of the Rings”: “The Two Towers.” It is very interesting to see how the film depicts the depth of an original story. In general, the film is very successful in dramatizing the epic story for general viewers while maintaining the storyline of the book.

The biggest difference is the structure of how to show the two big epic journeys: a war in Rohan and an adventure of Frodo and Sam. In the book, they are written in 2 separate sections: Book 3 and Book 4. In the movie, they are switched according to the timeline. But more significant difference is the interpretation of the two towers. In the book, the two towers can be Orthanc and Minas Morgul, but some think differently. In the movie, the two towers are clearly meant as Orthanc (Saruman) and Barad-dûr (Sauron). Orthanc and Barad-dûr represent the alliance of two big evil powers to destroy the free race in the Middle Earth. This simplistic emphasis works well with the plot and lets viewers focus on the plot.

The best part of the movie “The Two Towers” is the epic battle scene in the battle in Rohan and the Ent’s attack on Orthanc. Especially, the battle of Helm’s Deep shows how much the movie can achieve and give a life-time experience to viewers.

Look at my book Review of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. In the book, I like the adventure of Frodo and Sam better. I highly recommend reading the book. It is never late.

Not everything is done for the better. The film is somehow too sentimental, which is the typical flavor of a Hollywood blockbuster, and lacks the British humor to maintain the balance of the story. Characters act unnecessarily emotional, and the love story of Aragorn and Arwen is too artificial with full of cliche.

Overall, it is one of the best movies you want to watch again and again.

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