Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Page 1 of 10 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:28 pm

Right, I have not been idle in my short abscence, certainly not. Indeed I have a rather large post for the good folks of Forumshire to mull over with a cuppa. A comparison, broken down into sequences based on the books chapters, between Bakshi's film and PJ's.
This is predominantly a comparison of how well each script adapts the book into a script. It does not compare how well this works as film (hopefully that will come up in debate afterwards) or which version looks better given there is something like 30 years of technilogical advances between them. Although occasionall where it seems relevan I will mention how something is physically depicted this is mainly where such a thing seems a product of the script.
Hopefully there is plenty in here for folks to find contentious. Given the lengthy nature of such a comparison this is a first part, open to comment before I do the rest. It covers Bookk 1 of Fellowship.
Let the arguments commence.

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:39 pm

[img][/img]

Introduction

Both versions choose to open with a bit of background history in the form of an introduction. PJ's script opts to use Galadriel as a narrator. There is no real logical reason for this, if you were going to pick a likely character Elrond would be the better choice known as he his for his historic knowledge and lore. In Bakshi's script the narration task is given to a non-character narrator, which does at least make more sense as the narrator is used throughout to convey necessary information in a brief fashion. An option PJ choose not to use.
Both begin fairly identically, with the forging of the rings and each race receiving them and Sauron forging the One Ring. Neither oddly includes the Ring verse itself. The first thing presented to the reader in the book.
PJ emphasis the Last Alliance and the role of Isildur far more than Bakshi's who's opening gives a more general history of the Ring in which the Last Alliance and Isildur are just one in a series of events. Bakshi gives an explanation of the Black Riders which PJ's does not and also chooses to give us the Smeagol/Deagol scene at this point as part of the history of the Ring whereas Gollum only gets a name check and a few key lines of dialogue centring around 'Precious' and 'gollum' in PJ's. PJ's version won't reveal Smeagol's part in the Ring history until Return of the King.
Thanks largely to having the time PJ's version also gives us Bilbo writing 'concerning hobbits' as an added introduction over Bakshi.
Bakshi's intro is 4minutes long. PJ's is just over 7 minutes (12 including Concerning hobbits).

So onto awarding points; Bakshi's version gets credit for giving a sense of a long history to the Ring. The inclusion of the Deagol stuff works fine here and I suspect is only missing from PJ's due to the length of the introduction as it stands. Bakshi gets as much, if not more, information into his introduction as PJ does but PJs script allows for more spectacle. PJ also gets credit for including more detail on the Last Alliance, Elrond's presence at it and Isildur's role as well as the fate of Narsil. But loses out as he over emphasis this part only in order to set up his reluctant King addition to Aragorn's character, its purpose in the script is not to serve as an adaptation of the book but to further his own alteration.

I call this one a tie on 1-1. (with PJ taking it on penalties for the extra details) .But there is good and bad in both.

[img][/img]

An Unexpected Party

PJ has the time here which Bakshi does not to properly introduce characters. In this case setting up Frodo as the thoughtful sort (sitting reading under a tree), Gandalf (the serious but fun underneath wizard) and Bilbo (the eccentric with something on his mind). The best of this stuff easily being the scene in Bag End's kitchen between Gandalf and Bilbo, thanks largely to PJ using Tolkiens dialogue here for the butter spread over to much bread bit and Ian Holms performance. We also get a mention of the Sackville Bagginses.
Bakshi by contrast jumps straight in with the birthday party and in fact jumps straight to the end of it and Bilbo's speech. Frodo is introduced in a single line spoken by Gandalf “well Frodo I see your uncle Bilbo hasn't changed much”- short but it does give you the very basics of what you need to know, this is a persistent feature of Bakshi's script constrained by time as it is.
PJ's script however uses the party for much more than merely trying to convey the beats of the original story. He takes the opportunity to add some comic humour to it via Merry and Pippin stealing fireworks and some mock drama from the result of their theft. This sets up a theme in PJ's script which is the disregard of the characters of Merry and Pippin from the book in favour of a role as comic relief throughout. Neither seems particularly bright in this opening scene of firework theft, and Merry in particular is presented far from the books character. Rose is introduced also and shown to be the focus of Sam's affection, a character left out of Bakshi's.
Where PJ does do well is in the inclusion of small scenes such as Gandalf setting off fireworks for the children or Bilbo telling the tale of the trolls and in these parts the extra time PJ gives the party are well spent.
Following the party both tackle Bilbo's confrontation with Gandalf in Bag End.
In Bakshi's version we see Bilbo take off the Ring and put it in an envelope which he then seals with wax, as Gandalf enters he slips it in his pocket. Bakshi's dialogue, as elsewhere, is a truncated version of the original, Gandalf jumps straight in asking Bilbo if he has left the Ring whilst PJ gives a little more time to the set up as Bilbo prepares to leave and Gandalf chides him over his 'trick'.
PJ leaves out the envelope although oddly he does keep the line about it 'being on a shelf on the mantelpiece' a blatant lie from Bilbo who moments before in PJ's version took it off his finger and put it in his waistcoat pocket.
Having more time means Bilbo's growing annoyance and anger gets played out more naturally but PJ's version feels less dangerous and confrontational than either the book or Bakshi's. PJ also gives us Frodo's return after Bilbo has left and Gandalf deciding to leave immediately, although its over played to emphasis a sense of urgency (as PJ has no 17 year gap) it does however give an impression of the worry and concern of book Gandalf at the words and deeds of Bilbo.

[img][/img]

Bakshi version is 2 minutes long. PJ version is 19 minutes.

Points time again. PJ gets credit for full introductions to the main characters and for a fuller party scene. Merry and Pippin are however so different from their book counterparts as to be new characters with the same names and the histrionics of the dragon firework serve no real purpose.
Bakshi gets credit for making use of the dialogue to serve well in putting across the important information but its all so rushed that characters and concepts are never properly introduced.
This is closer than it should be. PJ has much more in there, having nearly ten times the amount of screen time for this, but so much of it is wasted its hard to be generous. And its remarkable what salient points Bakhsi script manages to retain in such a short amount of time.

However the final score is 1-0 to PJ. Bakshi's is just too rushed.

[img][/img]

Shadow of the Past

PJ chooses to drop the 17 year gap of the book between events and instead immediately introduces the Black Riders being sent forth and Gandalf's visit to Minas Tirith to search the scrolls before going into this scene. The Black Riders purpose at this point is merely to give a sense of growing danger but it ruins the sense of mystery and unease which surrounds them in the book when they appear, the viewer not only gets to see the Black Riders they also get to hear them speak before the main characters even know anything of them. PJ's script does this often, provides the viewer with far more information about what is going on than the characters themselves which is opposite from the experience of both characters and readers of the book.
Time is also very confused during this sequence, we see Gandalf at Minas Tirith and Black Riders riding out from Mordor and then we see the Riders asking a hobbit where Baggins lives. There is no indication how far away any of this is or how long it has taken.
PJ does however give us a scene in the inn at Bywater with one of the few instances of song in the films and some slightly mixed but Tolkien based dialogue. Its a nice scene although an opportunity to introduce the Gaffer as Sam's father is sorely missed.
Gandalf's return in PJ's version is overly dramatic with the wizard uncharacteristically lunging out at Frodo from the shadows before sitting down for a nice cup of tea.
Bakshi retains the books 17year gap, using the narrator to convey the information. He begins with Gandalf's return, knocking on the door of Bag End as he does in the book, sadly neither version retain the books angry Gandalf sticking his head in the window and threatening to blow Frodo's door straight through the hill if he doesn’t open it.
Bakshi also introduces the idea here that the Ring slows ageing by keeping Gandalf's comments from the book about Frodo's appearance. Although edited down for time all the dialogue in Bakshi's version is authentic Tolkien and the scene benefits from this, it is however also flawed in narrative. As in the book Gandalf tosses the Ring into the fire, but it serves no purpose here as neither the scroll of Isildur nor the ring verse on the Ring get a mention. Meaning this part of the scene and Gandalf's purpose in throwing it in the fire with the words “can you see any markings?” pointless and odd. Rather the impression is given the point of throwing it in the fire is to demonstrate to
Frodo how much he already doesn't want it harmed and to show it cannot be destroyed by normal means.
Bakshi version then gives us more background on Sauron and tells of the capture of Gollum and that Sauron is looking for 'Baggins'. We get here Frodo's exclamation that Bilbo should have killed Gollum and Gandalf's rebuttal of him something PJ moved to the Mines of Moria.
Frodo, upon deciding that he must go, gets given a travelling name by Gandalf, Mr Underhill before Sam is caught listening, in Bakshi's version this is in a bush as he moves half the scene outdoors. Bakshi's version finishes this scene by setting up a lot of stuff that is from the book but not directly shown in the film. Gandalf tells Frodo to make for Rivendell and suggests pretending he is moving to live with is cousins Merry and Pippin in Buckland, this is Bakshi's first reference to these two characters.
PJ never makes anything of the family relationships between the hobbits and its first mention in his version does not come until a throwaway line in Bree spoken by Pippin. And he makes no mention of the plan to move to Buckland.
His version of this scene is very much more focused on recapping the events in the introduction, we get a recap of Isildur again showing the emphasis PJ's script puts on this. We also get a screaming Gollum being tortured and a hobbit having his head chopped off by a Black Rider to go along with the revelation Sauron is searching for Baggins. The problem with this again for PJ is one of time and distance. The Shire is not huge and any riders galloping through it would be at Bag End before Gandalf and Frodo had left.
As neither versions give us anything about Sam's family or everyday life neither gives any explanation of his leaving, he simply goes when told to by Gandalf. (Although in the Bakshi version it can be assumed off screen arrangements are made as part of carrying out the 'move to Bucklebury' plan). Both versions choose to end this segment by having Gandalf ride off to speak with Saruman.

Bakhsi- 6 minutes. PJ- 12 minutes.

So points time again: There is a serious omission of the Ring writing in Bakshi's version which greatly detracts whereas the showing of Gandalf finding Isildur's scroll in PJ's version sets up well the finding of the writing. The scene in the inn also merits points for PJ. His over dramatic entry of Gandalf, the problems with introducing the Black Riders early and the general messiness of how long anything takes or where it is detracts from it however. As does the decision to remove the gap of 17 years between events. Bakshi's version also contains more pertinent information from the chapter than PJ's which is more concerned with re-emphasising ideas already presented and which his script wishes to push to the fore, as these largely concern his own changes they tend to fall flatter. PJ moves much of the new information, especially concerning Smeagol and Gandalf's comment about pity to later points in the narrative, which leaves him with less new stuff to tell the viewer even though he takes twice as long to do it. Bakshi also manages to give the cover story, however briefly done, for Frodo going to stay with Merry and Pippin, a very simple solution which PJ's version toils with when those characters are reintroduced. A tricky one to score, neither really does a great job and both have large problems.

Another tie 1-1 (with Bakshi taking it on penalties for the cover story and for saying more in less time)

Saruman

Both versions cut to Gandalf going to Isengard. PJ's version breaks it up more and spreads it throughout Frodo's journey to Rivendell. Both however leave the revelation of how he escaped for Rivendell. I will deal with these scenes collectively here.
Bakshi wastes no time. Gandalf rides to Isengard in a montage and then its right into conversation. As before the dialogue is shortened versions of dialogue from the book. Here we get Saruman dismissing Gandalf's news and revealing that the only wise choice is to join with Sauron. There are some moments of great dramatic dialogue here, Saruman's response of “That is a bad choice” to Gandalf's refusal to join him is chilling. Its such a shame the scene is so short, even so Bakshi still manages to get in the revelation of Saruman of Many Colours and to show Wormtongue handing Saruman his staff (Gandalf says in TT that he saw Wormtongue in Isengard). The scene ends with Gandalf left stuck on the top tower and that is the last Bakshi makes of it until Rivendell.
PJ's approach is quite different. He begins with a nice set up scene where Saruman greets Gandalf and they chat whilst walking in the garden. Most of the dialogue however is a restating of events to keep the viewer up to speed and no new information is given until the insertion of the palantir scene. This is not revealed until TT in the book and feels forced here. Its main purpose in here is not to serve this particular scene but to set up a device to be used later in the larger role Saruman plays in PJ's version. Most of Tolkien's dialogue is cast aside in these scenes and although nether provides the full excellent 'white light' speech PJ's is by far the poorer in dialogue of the two. And his version descends into a farcical physical fight.
PJ continues to cut back throughout Frodo's journey to Gandalf on the pinnacle of Orthanc, the purpose of these scenes are threefold, firstly simply to show he is still there, secondly via the moth to offer an explanation in the absence of Radagast for his means of rescue and thirdly and most strongly to show Saruman building his army of Uruk-Hai and to emphasize him as the bad guy of the film.

Bakshi- 2 minutes. PJ- 9 minutes

Despite less time Bakshi makes far better use of the dialogue. PJ's set up scene is nice if devoid of content but his enlargement of Saruman into a main character bad guy takes a lot of the subtlety out of the books character and the palantir scene feels misplaced. Choosing to lose the dialogue of the book in favour of a fight is a particular low point.

1-0 to Bakshi easily.

[img][/img]

Three is Company and The Black Rider

Neither film gets the numbers right in this. In PJ's version only Frodo and Sam set out together in a montage of countryside scenery walking shots, although he manages to include a nice scene with some elves leaving middle-earth. Bakshi opts for exactly the same approach with the difference that Merry, Pippin and a baggage pony accompany Frodo and Sam and there are no glimpsed elves.
Bakshi gives a one line explanation at this point for the presence of Merry and Pippin, with Frodo saying they 'insisted on coming as far as Bree.' This is the viewers first introduction to these characters and they are singing and laughing as they walk.
By contrast PJ is reintroducing the two characters after their hijinks at the party. And he does so by having them literally crash into Sam whilst stealing crops from Farmer Maggot. Its a scene that insults the book characters quite strongly whilst under the guise of being a nod to a missing segment, Short cut to Mushrooms (missing also from Bakshi's version).
After this rather uncomfortable reintroduction both versions go into the appearance of the Black Rider.
Here both films ignore the descriptions in the book and present the exact same scene; the hobbits hide by the roadside under the roots of a large tree. It is very hard therefore not to see this as PJ 'borrowing' this scene. And both films also have the same problem, neither script has an exit plan for this as the elves which force the retreat of the Rider in the book are absent from both versions. Bakshi's solution to this is to focus on Frodo's struggle against putting on the Ring, only when Frodo beats his temptation and thrusts the Ring back into his pocket does the Rider turn and leave. Whilst not making entire sense it does convey the feeling that a contest of wills is going on here. PJ's solution is to have Merry throw a bag into the bushes distracting the Rider as if it were a puppy and allowing them all to run away. This really does make no sense. Bakshi's account is far more compelling.
Mention should also be made here to the manner in which the Riders are portrayed. In Bakshi's version they are twisted, deformed creatures which shuffle and lurch, PJ's version are closer to the physical description of the book. But I think Bakshi's get closer to conveying the feeling which the book has about them, portraying them as literal twisted things gets over something in the book about their unnaturalness and the fear they provoke in a way PJ's Riders never do.
Bakshi then plays out the salient points of 'A Conspiracy Unmasked' there on the road and Frodo agrees to let Merry and Pippin join him and Sam in their journey to Rivendell. Merry in particular comes off well in this scene seeming intelligent and compassionate and his plea to Frodo of “We're your friends” feels heartfelt and gives a sense of the bond between the hobbits, something PJ's misses completely.
In fact PJ offers no such explanation for the continued presence of Merry and Pippin and makes no mention to the conspiracy, they simply go along with Frodo because they seemingly have nothing better to do.
Bakshi moves the scene straight to Bree from there. Whereas PJ co-opts the Bucklebury ferry from the book into an 'exciting' getaway chase before moving onto Bree.

[img][/img]

Bakshi- 4 minutes. PJ – 6 minutes

Points time once more. PJ gets credit for the wood elves scene which is nice although spoiled somewhat by Sam's whining inability to sleep outdoors despite in the book being the one most used to camping. Bakshi wins for the Black Rider scene as PJ's is just a rehash of that original with a worse solution. And likewise Bakshi wins out for including the book explanation for Merry and Pippin's involvement whilst PJ is still playing the characters for laughs.

A clear win for Bakshi- 1-0

[img][/img]

At the Sign of the Prancing Pony-Strider

Both versions portray Bree as a walled town with a large, solid main gate, contrary to the book. In the book Aragorn slips in over the gate after the hobbits enter Bree, it is hard to imagine anyone slipping over the huge gates in either film. PJ adds a comical 'hobbit' hatch in the gate, which doesn't make any actual physical sense but does let the viewer know that hobbits are part of Bree as well as Men. PJ also pays attention to the weather as it is pouring with rain, just as it is in the book when they arrive.
Bakshi leaves out the entry to Bree and begins with the hobbits already in the Prancing Pony. Bakshi's Pony is a lively place, far less menacing than PJ's. Bakshi's scene begins with Merry leaving to go out for a sniff of air before Butterbur introduces Frodo to the inn's company, who immediately demand he sing them a song and we get a version of the Inn song from the book, during which it cuts to Merry encountering two Black Riders in the street and passing out.
Back in the inn an over enthusiastic Frodo takes a tumble and slips on the Ring as he falls and vanishes. There are contenders in both films for the roles of Bill Ferny and squint eyed southerner, although never named as such in either, but it is clearer in Bakshi's version as Ferny and co slip out following the 'accident'. Making their excuses to Butterbur Frodo quickly leave the bar for their room.
PJ deals quite differently with this sequence. He leaves out Merry going out for air and encountering the Riders altogether. Butterbur is more sinister and less friendly, in fact the entire inn is more sinister and despite the gate set up implying the presence of hobbits, the inn in PJ's is devoid of them.
In both versions Frodo enquires after the 'weather beaten man in the corner' but PJ makes more of it, Bakshi focuses as much if not more time on the table with Ferny than it does on Strider, he is prominent in the background of several shots in the Bakshi version however.
PJ also drops the song from the book and replaces it with Pippin talking too freely and mentioning Baggins (in the book this is the reason Frodo gets up and speaks leading to the song) in response Frodo tries to get across the crowded room to him, slips, falls and throws the Ring up in the air and it implausibly lands on his outstretched finger. Upon removing the Ring he is seized by Strider and dragged away to a room, seemingly unnoticed by anyone else including the other hobbits.
Back in Bakshi's account the hobbits enter their room only to find Strider sitting awaiting them. This scene is heavily based on the book account, all the dialogue is from the book, shortened but present. The question of Gandalf's continued absence is brought up and Strider offers to lead them, which is refused. At which point Merry returns with Butterbur and the news the Black Riders are in Bree. Although Gandalf's letter is omitted much more of Butterbur's character is retained as is Strider's angry retort of “There is no one else for them to take up with except a fat innkeeper who only remembers his name because people shout it at him all day.” A line sadly missing from PJ's. Bakshi ends this scene with Strider informing them they should make for Weathertop and so will Gandalf if he can. He then reveals the broken Narsil saying “I am Aragorn son of Arathorn. If by life or death I can save you, I will”. A line moved and altered in the PJ version to the end of the Council of Elrond where it is not as effective.
Almost all of the book scene is missing from PJ's version. In it Strider confronts Frodo and warns him to be more careful, Sam, Merry and Pippin burst in brandishing bits of furniture. Strider warns them they cannot wait for the 'wizard' as the Riders are coming. And astonishingly here the scene ends. The next we see of Strider he is watching over the sleeping hobbits.
There is no explanation given for who he is nor why Frodo should take up with him let alone go to sleep in a room with him. Instead PJ makes a quick cut to the Black Riders entering Bree by knocking the gate down onto the unfortunate (and unnamed) Harry the Gatekeeper before making their way into the inn passed Butterbur (further smearing his character as in the book he diligently sits watch).
Bakshi has much the same, with the difference the gates of Bree are thrust open rather than knocked down and his Riders mysteriously fade and reappear in the room in the inn without troubling Butterbur.
The scene of the Riders hacking at the beds is almost identical in both versions, the main differences are Bakshi has an odd 'de-cloaking' bit at the end of his where the Riders shed their black robes to reveal armoured bodies beneath and PJ uses it as an excuse to have Aragorn explain the Riders again to the hobbits.
Neither film deals with the aftermath of the raid on the inn but instead cut to the hobbits and Strider already having left Bree.

[img][/img]

Bakshi – 10 minutes PJ- 7 minutes

[img][/img]

Bakshi – 10 minutes PJ- 7 minutes

So to the points. PJ's version is 3 minutes shorter and it shows. He spends far to long on the set up with gags about pints of beer and leaves himself no time to explain Strider. There is no logic behind the hobbits decision to trust him and the viewer is offered none. Very little of the book makes it intact into PJ's version it is missing many events; Merry encountering the Riders, Frodo's song, Strider’s oath, the broken Narsil and the character of Butterbur is almost unrecognisable from the original. Bakshi does a much better job of sticking to the main events and although Butterbur's role in things is reduced his personality largely survives. Strider is both more mysterious and more noble than PJ's versions and the sequence of events makes more sense.

An easy one this Bakshi wins hands down. Bakshi 1-0.

Midgewater, Weathertop.

PJ begins this sequence by using some of the material he left out from Strider's début scene at the Pony, with Merry questioning Frodo over whether they can trust Strider. Frodo gives us the line from the book “a servant of the enemy would look fairer and feel fouler” but rather than Strider's reply from the book “So I look foul and feel fair, is that it?” we get the rather flat “Foul enough,” from Merry and Frodo simply stating “we have no choice but to trust him”. This is as much as PJ gives us as to what the hobbits are doing following this man at all. It also makes no sense as they have already trusted him the night before when they all went to sleep with him watching over them.
Strider then reveals he is leading them to Rivendell, the first time it is mentioned as the destination in PJ's version.
There is a short montage of travelling shots but how long is supposed to be passing is uncertain as the very next scene is a 'comic' one in which Pippin questions the frequency of the meals. Claiming they have had one breakfast but not second breakfast- this must mean, despite the montage we are still only a few hours out from Bree. Apart from confusing the time element the scene serves no real purpose as it is neither shedding any new light on things (we know hobbits like their food from Bilbo's 'concerning hobbits' prologue, or Bilbo stuffing his face in conversation with Gandalf or their passion over mushrooms) nor is it very humorous and its ending, with Pippin wondering where an apple thrown to him by Strider has come from makes him look like a prize contender for village idiot. It also seems to have snowed between leaving Bree and this scene further confusing the issue of how much time is supposed to have passed.
The next scene is in the Midgewater marshes, it is brief and gives only the comic lines about what the midges eat when they can't get hobbits. We then see a night camp scene with Strider singing the Lay of Luthien to himself and a brief explanation of the song and the information that Luthien died. There is nothing wrong with this scene save the importance of the Lay to Strider is underplayed thanks to the scene being so short, it is also not as well placed here as it is in the book.
PJ uses the end of this night scene to make a cut to Gandalf on Orthanc.
Bakshi goes straight from Bree to Midgewater and also uses the line about midges eating hobbit. And as with PJ's it is followed by a night camp scene in which Strider watches over the sleeping hobbits and in the distance hears the sound of hooves galloping by. Its short but atmospheric.
From there Bakshi takes us straight to Weathertop, with Strider pointing it out to the hobbits. This is immediately followed by the scene around the fire beneath Weathertop and Strider recounting the end of the story of Luthien. It is a fuller version than PJ's and fits the scene better here.
PJ cuts back from Orthanc to the arrival at Weathertop. Neither version sadly retain Gandalf's visit there or the finding of his rune mark on the stone.
PJ has Strider equip the hobbits with swords and then go off on his own with little explanation. The hobbits high up on a shelf on Weathertop go to sleep but Frodo awakens to find his friends cooking a meal on a fire. Strider has not returned and upon putting out the fire the Black Riders are seen and heard below and the hobbits retreat to the summit of Weathertop which PJ depicts as a ruin whilst the Riders advance. Merry, Pippin and Sam are brushed aside by the Riders and Frodo falls to the ground before taking out the Ring and putting it on.
In contrast Bakshi sticks to the book version, upon Strider's story ending Merry declares he is afraid and Strider orders the hobbits to get lit sticks from the fire and stand facing outwards. The Riders appear around them and Frodo takes out the Ring, succumbs and slips it on before Strider can prevent him.
Both versions choose to depict the world as seen when wearing the Ring in different ways, Bakshi's is more like an entire other world whilst PJ's is more a swirling and blurring of the actual world as if a constant hurricane is blowing.
In the Bakshi version Frodo is stabbed as Strider chases the Riders off with fire much as it occurs in the book. PJ's version is more elaborate with Strider reappearing out of nowhere and fighting off the Riders and setting them on fire. Its overblown and leaves the problem of where the Riders get their new outfits from by the time they reappear at the Ford.
Neither version includes Frodo stabbing the Witch-King or his cry of 'Elbereth Gilthoniel' as he does so, although Bakshi's Frodo at least puts up a spirited fight whereas PJ's does not.
Both versions show the Morgul blade but it is more obviously notched in the Bakshi version.
PJ gives the information it requires elf medicine to heal the wound.

Bakshi – 4 minutes PJ- 8minutes.

Points time. A lot of what PJ does here is misplaced, this would fine if it worked better but Bakshi, which keeps the same order as the book shows that they do not. Moving elements from the inn scene to the start where they make less sense, why discuss why they are trusting him after they already trusted him enough to go to sleep with him watching over them? It just feels clumsy and forced. The story of Luthien being moved and given so little time, the problem with how much time has passed between setting out and the scene with Pippin, Strider’s unexplained absence from camp (whose main purpose seems solely to be so he can reappear at the crucial moment to save the day) and the idea that the hobbits having a fire is what attracts the Riders rather than that they are drawn to the Ring is especially poor. More so considering Strider states explicitly in the book “fire is our friend in the Wilderness” and it also undermines the otherworldly nature of the Riders.
Bakshi's pacing is better, Luthien's tale works much better as a precursor to the attack and again Bakshi retains dialogue from the book including Strider’s admonishment to Frodo for commenting he was going to 'become a wraith' if they have to keep going much longer- which is a far more subtle way of showing hobbits fondness for food and its scarcity on the journey than PJ's poor comedy attempt, as well as being true to the source it also does the opposite of PJ's, Striders hard admonishment of "Don't speak of such things" heightens the tension and of course Frodo is about to be at the risk of becoming a wraith for real.
PJ's ambition to heighten tension and drama backfires here, the sequence has pacing issues and plot problems if you stop to think about what you are seeing.

Another Bakshi win. 1-0

[img][/img]

Flight to the Ford

Bakshi begins this section with a sick Frodo riding Bill and Sam asking Strider why Frodo is so ill when the wound is so small. Strider explains the Morgul knife and that a piece has broken off and is working its way to Frodo's heart, adding that they must get to Rivendell.
The idea the wound is turning him into a wraith, whilst mentioned by PJ, has no explanation as to why in his version and there is no mention of the knife point working its way to Frodo's heart which lessens the drama of trying to get to Rivendell against the clock and is an odd omission.
PJ gets credit for having the stone trolls and for mentioning athelas as well during these scenes.
Neither version chooses to retain Glorfindel from the book, Bakshi replaces him with Legolas and PJ with Arwen.
In PJ's version Arwen first appears sneaking up on Strider as he cuts athelas, its an awkward scene and she is immediately seen next riding up to Frodo on a horse, from a Frodo POV she is surrounded in a shining light. The two scenes seem to make no chronological sense together. Aragorn arrives after Arwen in this scene and there is no hint they had just met in the woods.
PJ gives himself extra work in this scene by using Arwen as she is an important character to Aragorn and something of their relationship has to be conveyed at the expense of the dialogue from the book. Unfortunately the dialogue replacing the books is poor and whilst the Elvish sounds good the translation, which boils down to, “Arwen don't go its dangerous”, “They don't scare me” is not worth the effort of translating.
Bakshi sticks very much to the book, the substitution of Legolas for Glorfindel makes almost no difference as Bakshi simply uses Glorfindel's dialogue from the book and transports it wholesale to Legolas. For this reason it works better and feels more in keeping with the original and Sam's delight in finally meeting an elf is shown as well as his unhappiness that Frodo is not being allowed adequate rest.
PJ has Arwen take Frodo on her horse and leave the rest behind in order to ride to the Ford. Bakshi follows the book premise that Frodo is put on Legolas' (Glorfindel's in book) horse and is alone.
By choosing to have Arwen go with Frodo, and given Aragorn's feelings for her, PJ's version shifts the focus of attention from Frodo in this scene to Arwen as the viewer now has two important people to be concerned for. And indeed in PJ's version from the moment Arwen sets off for the Ford with Frodo he is merely a passenger and plays no active part in proceedings.
Bakshi again follows the book more closely, emerging from a tunnel of trees Strider points out the Ford across an open space of grassland and the sound of the Riders galloping hooves echoing in the tunnel behind is heard and Glorfindel cries out to Frodo to flee as the Riders emerge.
PJ introduces the Riders differently. Instead of an open plain PJ sets his chase in a pine wood and the Riders appear from among the trees.
Bakshi chooses to show Frodo is slipping further into the wraith world by having it reappear here without Frodo having to put on the Ring. There follows a rather odd scene in which the Witch-King uses some sort of force like power to draw Frodo from his horse, its over long and serves no purpose as he simply gets back on again. However the repeated calls of the Riders to “Come back, come back. To Mordor we will take you. Come back, come back. To Mordor we will take you” is eerily unsettling. Hearing Gandalf's voice crying “Fly you fool!” Frodo spurs his horse on and it is back into the real world and the chase to the Ford is properly on.
The Ford scenes are similar in both. In PJ's Frodo is however a mere spectator and it is Arwen who challenges the Riders with the frankly poor “If you want him come and claim him” whereas in Bakshi's version it is a defiant Frodo who draws sword and declares “By all the Shire you shall have neither the Ring nor me” before collapsing.
PJ has Arwen make a sort of prayer to the river prior to its rising and in PJ's version this is as much an explanation for the flood as the viewer is going to get. Both versions are shot in similar fashion and both include the 'white horses' on the crest of the flood wave.
Bakshi's version ends with Frodo slumping from his horse to the ground whereas PJ has a weeping Arwen begging the powers that be to spare Frodo.

[img][/img]

Bakshi – 9 minutes. PJ – 6 minutes

Points time. Bakshi retains much more of the books account of events. The wraith world stuff although effective in conveying Frodo's slipping into wraithness is over long and unnecessarily confusing at points. PJ loses out by putting Arwen in, much of the dialogue which Bakshi moves from Glorfindel to Legolas PJ simply cuts and she detracts from Frodo as the centre of the viewers concern. The explanation of what is happening to Frodo is also much clearer in the Bakshi version and the lack of any pro activeness from Frodo in the PJ version is also a problem.

Despite some cosmetic and pacing issues the Bakshi version takes the points here. 1-0.

So at the end of Book 1 the half time score for best adaptation of Fellowship stands at 6-2 to Bakshi.


Last edited by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:15 am; edited 2 times in total

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Orwell on Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:40 am

Wow! Admit to skimming this time round but.... Wow! Shocked (Will study in the right moment, Petty, have other matters to attend to - including your damn megaedit which I dl'd - but don't know where to? (Err... maybe I didn't do it proper --- ridiculous, of course Embarassed ) Also, my Family is wanting me to participate in Family life. Oh won't someone rid me of my problematic Family and their Needs (for an hour or so)! Rolling Eyes --- especially my Missus [[[[[who doesn't know about Pretty btw ]]]]]]... Anyway, I will get back to this, but what I've skimmed is remarkable - and very agreeable so far [[[[[for a Purist]]]]] Very Happy

_________________
"Skirts!" cried our respectable Master Odo. "Skirts! And they have the temerity to call them 'kilts'.... Eru darn my socks!"

From "The True Tale of the Un-magical Coal Scuttle."
avatar
Orwell
Dark Presence with Gilt Edge

Posts : 8552
Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 98
Location : Ozhobbitstan

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Tinuviel on Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:57 pm

There's no doubt that PJ copied!!! Especially the one image of the hobbits hiding from the black rider. He could argue that they both had similar visions of what Tolkien was describing, but the one I just mentioned blows that out of the water!

_________________
"I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author." -JRRT

avatar
Tinuviel
Finest Nose

Posts : 1937
Join date : 2011-02-15
Age : 22

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:15 pm

Theres lots visually that I highlioghted above that belies the lie they are similar visions of the same book. The hiding under the tree root doesn't happen inthe book. Nor does the scene where Gandalf leaves the Shire in a wood that happens in PJ's to be lit and coloured almost identically to Bakshi. Then there's the room in Bree- which in the book are hobbit rooms with round windows, the windows in the two films are identical, in fact PJ seems ot have built the room Bakshi's drew! There are similarities then there is this.
Its such a pity PJ didn't rip more of Bakshi's script!

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Kafria on Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:49 pm

Have only had a quick skim, prologue section only, will read a bit at a time and add what I think.

For this I agree with a lot of what you've said, but personal preference would have been for the verse spoken over the opening credits (as Galdriels voiceover does in PJ's) and then straight into concerning hobbits, which was a source of true delight when I first saw the EE. For this reason I am not too fussed by either

On the similarities note, it is unsurprising that many of the images are the same to me. PJ only discovered the tale through the animated films and no matter how much he read or loved the text when he read it I find it likely that many of the images of his first encounter with the tale stuck in his mind. (From a personal note, I discovered the lion the witch and the wardrobe through a cartoon version when I was 4 (drove my parents to distraction re watching) In watching the lastest live action film and when I think of scenes or read the book it is images from that I see a lot of the time, I think it is only to be expected.) I think it also goes some way to explain PJs interest in spectacle over content, this shortened, incomplete version is the one he fell in love with!

_________________
Never laugh at dragons, Bilbo you fool! - TH

'A novel is a long piece of prose with ,in the eyes of the author at least, something wrong with it - Neil Gaiman, intro to American gods
avatar
Kafria
Lady of Dale

Posts : 1270
Join date : 2011-02-13

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Tinuviel on Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:06 pm

That's interesting, I never knew PJ saw the animated films BEFORE reading the books. That explains alot, then...

_________________
"I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author." -JRRT

avatar
Tinuviel
Finest Nose

Posts : 1937
Join date : 2011-02-15
Age : 22

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Kafria on Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:29 pm

yeah, I remeber him mentioning it in one of the commentaries or feature on the extended stuff

_________________
Never laugh at dragons, Bilbo you fool! - TH

'A novel is a long piece of prose with ,in the eyes of the author at least, something wrong with it - Neil Gaiman, intro to American gods
avatar
Kafria
Lady of Dale

Posts : 1270
Join date : 2011-02-13

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:19 am

Yes he did see the film first, which almost certainly explains the famialirty of certain scenes. However he was not solely responsible for the script, in which he seems to have had a smaller part than the Coven. And I don't believe they have the same excuse for the appaling script they turned in. If only they had ripped off the Bakshi script more and used the extra time to add to it using the book as source in the same manner I would not be such a crabbit #@!$#@! Evil or Very Mad

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by chris63 on Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:25 am

PJ said he had the book with The Black riders from Bakshi's movie on the cover, i dont remember him saying he had watched it.
He probably has thou, the scenes that have been discussed on here, Hobbits hiding under the log, the Proudfoot (proudfeet) scene are
almost identical.


_________________
avatar
chris63
Adventurer

Posts : 7180
Join date : 2011-07-04
Location : Perth, Australia

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:31 am

As an accompaniment to this and before I put up the rest, to give folks time for a relaxing read, I thought I'd post the odd vid illustraing I think points I've made. This first one is Bakhsi's Gandalf and Saruman bit.
Do bare in mind I did say at the start this is mainly about the merits of the scripts, not how those merits were interpreted visually on screen. So of course it is very unlikely Gandalf would have rode into Isengard if it looked like it had been constructed in Hades. However ask yourself this, could you adapt the dialogue of the book any better within that time-frame and still hit all the main points? I don't think so and that's why this bit was a win in the above for Bakshi!



You preempted me on vid illustrations to the piece Chris! Very Happy
And watching the above intro again I realize I made an error in the above post- that is the voice of Gandlaf not of the narrator. And the dialogue is from Shadows of the Past.

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by chris63 on Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:07 am

I love this song from the movie, shame theres no footage to go with it.

avatar
chris63
Adventurer

Posts : 7180
Join date : 2011-07-04
Location : Perth, Australia

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:23 am

That's the elves lament for Gandalf in Lothlorien.

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Eldorion on Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:26 am

It's a nice song, but it really doesn't sound like a lament to me. I'm not talking about the lyrics, just the general sound and tone; it doesn't come across as sad at all IMO. Shrugging
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22444
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:33 am

As promised here is the second part of my comparison. Straight on with Book 2 of Fellowship.

Many Meetings


[img][/img]

PJ and Bakshi open this section more or less the same. With Frodo waking to find Gandalf sitting by his bedside.
PJ gives us a few small book touches, Sam taking Frodo's hand when he comes in for example but the dialogue barely touches the books and offers no explanation for what happened at the Ford and Frodo asks for none, seeming more interested in why Gandalf was late, the first thing he does ask about. PJ then cuts to his final Saruman scene showing Gandalf's escape from Orthanc before quickly moving things away from the bedside with the introduction of Elrond, who either pops up from nowhere or has been skulking about in the background somewhere till this point, and the conformation Frodo has been healed by him.
Bakshi is more concerned with the narrative than PJ is during this scene. Frodo awakens from a disturbing dream calling out Gandalf's name. His first concern is for Sam and the others not Gandalf. In reply Gandalf explains that he has been there 3 days and Sam has barely left his side and that the knife point had almost worked its way to his heart. Bakshi gives an explanation of the flood too, saying that the river is Elrond's, he even mentions Gandalf's own touches to the flood- the white horses. It is then explained that the Black Riders have been unclothed and temporarily defeated before going into the final Saruman scene. There is no great explanation for Gwahir in Bakshi's version save for Gandalf's explanation and observation that he came “in answer to my call. Saruman has never paid enough attention to animals.” It is not exactly a satisfying explanation but nor does it detract from the overall story either.
Both films immediately go on to reintroduce Bilbo. PJ chooses to set this out doors with a surprisingly aged Bilbo (given PJ's constricted time line), whereas Bakshi sets it in the Hall of Fire as it is in the book and we first hear Bilbo then see him reciting the opening stanzas of the Lay of Luthien before Frodo joyously greets him. (Boromir also makes his first appearance in this scene marching across the room). Bakshi also retains some good dialogue from the book here, including Bilbo's explanation of why he choose Rivendell, “The foods very good, and I listen, and I think. A remarkable place all together.” Bakshi chooses to place the scene where Bilbo enquires after the Ring and Frodo gets the desire to hit him here, as it is in the book. There is no monstrous transformation of Bilbo in this version, just the hardening of Frodo's face as he slowly raises his fist to strike and its suitably effective, the scene ends with Bilbo crying “Don't adventures ever have an end?” A line PJ choose to drop from the end of this part when he came to do it for some reason.
From here Bakshi goes straight into the Council of Elrond.
PJ, after introducing Bilbo, takes a different tact. We see him and Frodo looking through the Red Book Bilbo has been writing, and we hear that Bilbo never got round to going back to the Lonely Mountain and that Frodo misses the Shire. But beyond that the scene serves no real purpose, by moving the confrontation scene PJ again leaves himself with nothing to tell the viewer at this point and Frodo's final words in the scene of “I'm not like you Bilbo.” Do not ring true and feel forced for the sake of having some emotive conclusion.
From this scene we get Sam packing to leave, and a little about how he wanted to see elves (although it feels odd as its never really mentioned much before and he seems keenest to leave immediately). This scene leads into a slightly better one in which Gandalf and Elrond discuss the Ring. The pertinent information being put across here is that the Ring cannot stay in Rivendell and that men are the best hope. Unfortunately it is padded out with a reminder to the viewer that Saruman is breeding an army, with the third (or possibly fourth) showing of the breaking of Narsil from the introduction, and an odd version of Elrond in which he has no faith in men (despite sheltering the Kings all these years and protecting them-one wonders what for given his stance here) . This scene in turn cross-fades to Aragorn reading a book somewhere in Rivendell where the heirlooms of the Kings are kept. This is easily the best scene of those PJ has added. It nicely introduces Boromir and the likely resistance the idea of a King returning will breed in the current rulers. And it does so with minimum dialogue. It feels genuine and is well paced.
PJ reintroduces Arwen at the end of this scene, in one of her many personality shifts, she is no longer the brave warrior of before but more the wise councillor. The dialogue when in elvish sounds good but once again the English translation is poor. A suitable Vaseline smeared camera lens romance scene on a bridge follows in which Arwen gives her love to Aragorn represented by an elfstone necklace.

PJ- 12 minutes Bakshi – 5 minutes.

Points time. Not easy this. If its a straight comparison between the scenes both cover its a hands down win for Bakshi. For explaining the flood, what was happening to Frodo, the fate of the Black Riders, for having Bilbo singing in the Hall of Fire, all are good.
However PJ does introduce Arwen whom Bakshi leaves out entirely and the scene with Boromir is worth praise. Much else of what he does is poor. It would have been better to explain the flood than waste time reminding viewers of things they already know for example. And once more the lack of proper Tolkien dialogue in PJ's version makes it sound like a poor cousin to Bakshi's script.
On balance, even with the Boromir scene Bakshi still edges it but only just, the time constraints are starting to show).

1-1 (Bakshi on penalties for concentrating on what matters)

The Council of Elrond.

This is where Bakshi's choice to have a narrator pays off in saving his script time. His Council opens with a shot of the discussions ongoing around a table with Elrond raised at its head, and begins with the narrated words, “All that morning the Council of Elrond debated the history of the One Ring and its maker Sauron. Gandalf also told all of Saruman the traitor and his desire for the Ring. Elves and Dwarves in their turn told all of what they knew of Sauron's preparations for conquest. And so did Boromir of Gondor.”- I've given that in full to show how its brevity nevertheless covers the salient points, it also gives the impression the Council was a lengthy debate, something it is not in PJ's account, and that everyone was debating, which they do not in PJ's. The lines ending is also the opportunity for Boromir to stand and say his piece. This method works well in giving the impression the viewer is dropping in on the really important bits of the Council whilst still remaining informed as to its overall content.
Boromir declares he was called to the Council by a dream seeking the sword that was broken and Aragorn produces the sword with a declaration of what it is, again Bakshi brings back in the narrator to explain how the Council is told of the true heritage of Aragorn. It is not the most dramatic way to do this and it is brief, but it is crystal clear at least.
Gandalf then asks Frodo to take out the Ring and he holds it out on its chain. Prompting Elrond to ask what they can do with it. And concluding they have to destroy it in Mount Doom. A proposal loudly argued against by Boromir. Once more Bakshi's use of the proper dialogue works well here, especially as he keeps Bilbo's earnest, but amusing, “Its plain enough what you are pointing at. Bilbo the silly hobbit started this affair and Bilbo better finish it, or himself. When ought I to start?”
Frodo then volunteers and upon Elrond agreeing he has made the right choice Sam pops up to demand Frodo not be sent alone and Bakshi ends the scene on Sam ruminating “A nice pickle we've landed ourselves in Mr Frodo.” This ensures the tension from the Council is not reduced at its ending but maintained.
In PJ's version we begin with Elrond giving a speech at the Council's start in which he says he called everyone to the meeting in direct contradiction to the book. Frodo is asked to bring forth the Ring immediately, and actually gives it up and sets it down on a pedestal in the rooms centre. PJ then has Boromir explain he had a dream and then he reaches for the Ring, which prompts Gandalf into a burst of Black Speech to accompanying thunder. It is all very dramatic but so far not a thing has been discussed. Finally Gandalf gets the talking going by insisting the Ring is altogether evil. This is met by a speech of Boromir, demanding the Ring, it is over played and too forceful, together with the preceding grasping at the Ring shot it is setting Boromir up as a threat to early and sign posting his later corruption far too much. What follows however is worse. Legolas is introduced making a defence of Aragorn, and seemingly against the reluctant wishes of Aragorn, declares that he is Aragorn son of Arathorn and Boromir owes him is allegiance. Unfortunately the Kings are supposed to have been a secret for centuries and the names should mean nothing to Boromir, but as logic has left the script at this point he immediately recognises who Aragorn is. Its a clumsily written mess this portion of the Council.
Gandalf then declares they cannot use the Ring and Elrond informs them they have only one choice- to destroy it. Even though nothing actually appears to have been debated yet and the majority of those present at the Council have no apparent involvement in it. Everyone who speaks ends up in the Fellowship. Which may be why Gimli now gets a part, with the Council robbed of most of its dialogue he is left to attempt to smash the Ring with his axe. This does effectively show the Rings strength, but as that has already been established right at the start it is not necessary, and does nothing to help with the portrayal of Gimli at PJ's hands who will go on to replace Merry and Pippin when they are not on-screen as the comic relief.
Elrond announces the Ring must be cast into Mount Doom and we get the best bit of dialogue in the Council scene from PJ's script, with Boromir's admonishment (and the only bit of the Council which feels serious) “One does not simply walk into Mordor...” Unfortunately PJ follows it by having the Council descend into a shouting match which ends with Frodo declaring he will take the Ring. This leads to an immediate cessation of what little debate there was and the spontaneous forming of the Fellowship of the Ring out of those with speaking parts in the Council and ends on some truly cringe-worthy 'humour' from Pippin. PJ ends the Council with an inappropriately upbeat feel and a poster shot of the Fellowship.
Following the Council Bakshi gives us Bilbo giving Sting and his mithril shirt to Frodo and wishing Frodo goodbye. This is Bakshi's parting scene for Rivendell. It ends nicely with Bilbo chanting softly to himself as he looks out the window “I sit beside the fire and think”. It is effectively moody.
From there we have Elrond narrating explaining the choice of the Fellowship and who is in it as each one walks past the camera, ending on Merry and Pippin with Elrond saying “Finally we will trust to friendship rather than to great wisdom. Peregrin Tool and Meriadoc Brandybuck may also go”, and hats off to the actor here for conveying Elrond's uncertainly and reluctance about that decision in his voice.
PJ opts to put a bit more in following the Council. First he takes the viewer to the graveside of Aragorn's mother. This could be a nice scene and it starts well but with Elrond arriving it turns out to be just another beat in the contentious reluctant King story PJ has added and it comes to nothing. This would seem the natural place to include Elrond prohibition over Arwen's hand in marriage and what the bar is set at, but PJ misses the opportunity and rather crassly and simplistically has him say “I will not leave my daughter here to die.”
As with Bakshi we then get Bilbo giving his gifts to Frodo and it is to here that PJ moves the scene with Bilbo asking after the Ring and wanting to see it. It works fine here except perhaps that if Bilbo is still so concerned would he not have asked earlier as he does in the book and Bakshi version? PJ also drops Bilbo's final line in this scene for some reason. It is a matter of taste whether Bilbo's visual transformation in PJ's or Bakshi's more subtle approach works best, I preferred the subtle.
As in Bakshi's we get Elrond setting the Fellowship forth although PJ gives it a full scene as the Fellowship leave Rivendell and it works well, particularly in showing in Aragorn's reaction to leaving Arwen (even though in PJ's version all the reasons are different) but then some of the weight of the moment is taken out by a poor joke about whether Mordor is left or right from Rivendell. Added misplaced humour becomes an increasing problem throughout PJ's scripts.

PJ- 13 minutes (Council – 6 minutes) Bakshi – 5 minutes ( Council- 4 minutes)

So back to points again. Well the Council is easy enough. PJ's Council discusses nothing, there is precious little debate, a lot of heightened drama and little content with the sole exception being Boromir's speech.
PJ won back some ground, and gets some points for bringing in Aragorn's mothers grave. However an opportunity for some reason is missed to have Elrond lay down the marriage conditions he does in the book in favour of PJ's preferred reluctant King meaning the scene is wasted.
The main faults in Bakshi are the usual ones, its all still a little to rushed and after making such effective use of Narsil at the Council its odd there is no mention of its reforging in the Bakshi version at all. And nor is there any hint of Arwen's existance.

Nevertheless this one is a win for Bakshi. 1-0

The Ring Goes South

Bakshi has all but omitted Caradhras altogether and there is no Hollin. Rather he starts the scene off in a snow blizzard in the unnamed mountains with the party stuck and discussing the oddity of snow so far south and Gandalf's warning Sauron's arm “has grown long”. From there he is straight into the debate about which route to take, but back to that shortly.
First to PJ's version. Having already given the viewer one poster shot of the Fellowship at the end of the Council scene we now get another walking version of it as each strides by.
Things improve markedly with a nice scene set in Hollin in which the Crebain of Dunland spy them out. But unlike in the book where the reader is never 100% certain about who, if anyone, is spying on the Fellowship, PJ's viewer is left with no doubts as he later shows the crows back with Saruman. Possibly the worst thing about this scene however is the mess PJ begins to make here over Balin and Moria. PJ's Gimli seems to expect a fully dwarved city and mine, an idea later added to as they enter Moria, even although this is in plain contradiction of the obvious age of Moria and long abandonment. Given Bakshi covers this clearly with a single line of dialogue one wonders how PJ made such a pig's ear of it, or what he was aiming for.
PJ then gives us what in isolation would have been a good scene, in which Frodo drops the Ring in the snow and Boromir picks it up, using dialogue taken from elsewhere in the book it is a far better and complex display of Boromir's position than the clumsy attempts that precede or come after it. However it has to be taken in the context of those other scenes where it simply adds to the signposted nature of Boromir's demise.
PJ then makes the first of a series of odd decisions regarding his use of Saruman. He has Saruman informed by his crows that the Fellowship are trying to cross the mountains and hints at a darker road and whether Gandalf will dare it. There then follows a scene in which Saruman uses his powers to cause an avalanche in the mountains burying the Fellowship in snow. PJ then reveals the 'darker way' Saruman was hinting at is Moria and that in it there is a creature of flame and shadow and that Gandalf fears to go in there. There are all sorts of problems with this. It rather clumsily reveals all about the Balrog far to soon and simply ruins the sense of growing unease and uncertainty in the book about what is in Moria built up by Aragorn's reluctance to go back there and his warning to Gandalf not to go there. And why Saruman is trying to drive the Ring into the hands of a Balrog where it would be very difficult to get back is not explained either, and even more bizarrely this weighty decision of to go into the mines or not is given solely over to Frodo, who has never heard of the place before then, knows nothing about it and no one else seems to disagree with his choice. The logic behind this discussion is hard to find. Which brings me by contrast back to Bakshi's version.
Following the scene in the snow Bakshi has the Fellowship have a discussion about the route, this is heavily based on the one in the book. It opens with Gandalf and Aragorn having a full blown argument about it, with Gandalf insisting he is right and Aragorn countering they could go by way of the Gap of Rohan, leading to a warning about Saruman from Gandalf. With Aragorn countering “Yet you would risk the mines of Moria”. We then get the information both Gandalf and Aragorn have been there before and Aragorn's desire not to go back, and the hobbits chipping in they do not want to go even once. Gimli however declares he will go and explains that Balin led a company of dwarves there who have not been heard from since, this is not entirely accurate but far better and less confusing than the mess PJ makes over how old Moria is and how inhabited its believed to be. Aragorn then reluctantly agrees to go with a warning that it is for Gandalf he fears, and Boromir declares that he will not go unless the vote of the whole company is against him and demands to know what the Ring Bearer thinks. This works far better in setting up a feeling of unease about Moria than PJ's clumsy over information using Saruman.
In the book this scene is not resolved, no decision is taken as the wargs attacking force the issue. Neither version includes the wargs and Bakshi's solution is to conclude the scene by having Frodo say “I do not wish to go. But I will go, if Gandalf advises it.” (A variation on the line he uses in the book where he says he does not wish to go but nor does he wish to gainsay the advice of Gandalf, and they should wait till morning- then they hear the wargs.) It is a satisfying enough conclusion here and leaves the viewer clear on where they are going, why they are going and that not everyone is happy to be going.

PJ – 8 minutes Bakshi- 3minutes.

Points time. Plus points for Bakshi are the Boromir speech (again), but loses out as it only feeds into the Boromir is a bad guy thing PJ has going on, and the scene in Hollin is nice although again it drops the ball with Gimli's confused version of Moria and by resolving who is doing the spying and losing some of the uncertainty the book generates about it.
Whilst it is good Caradhras makes it into PJ's version making it Saruman who 'brings the mountain down on them' to deliberately drive them into Moria makes no sense at all. And making Frodo take the decision on everyone’s behalf likewise makes no sense (and given the result of the decision would surely also put an overburdening weight of guilt onto him afterwards).
Bakshi does a much better job of keeping things clear. The mountains are impassable because of snow which they speculate Sauron has manipulated, but never are certain, then they have a debate about what to do, everything including where Balin comes into it is clear, all the characters debate the decision and have their say. By comparison PJ's script is messy and confusing where it need not be.

A clear win for Bakshi- 1-0


Journey in the Dark/Bridge of Khazad-Dum


[img][/img]

PJ begins with the Fellowship approaching the Doors of Moria. A short scene with Gandalf talking to Frodo demonstrates well how PJ's script often does much right only to ruin it with something clumsy. The conversation between Frodo and Gandalf uses book dialogue and works well but then signposts Boromir as he walks past as a bad guy. It is excruciatingly clumsy.
PJ uses the hunt for the doors to have a little banter between Legolas and Gimli over the secretive nature of dwarves, but Legolas's reply of “why doesn't that surprise me” is not very Tolkien and sounds out of place. Gandalf also explains about ithildin and the doors appear.
PJ includes some of the books dialogue here to good effect between Gandalf and Pippin as Gandalf's mounting frustration at not being able to get the doors open grows- this is a rare occasion where PJ's Gandalf is openly snappy and frankly a bit crabbit, something Bakshi's version often is.
Bakshi opens the scene with the door writing already revealed and Gandalf chanting spells at it.
We are brought up to speed by way of some dialogue from Sam to Merry (and Bill the Pony) “Steady there Bill. Ole Gandalf will have that door open in a minute.” Merry questions this, pointing out that this is elf magic not fireworks. We then get Legolas admonishing Gimli for Dwarves being secretive and for putting a riddle on the door no one knows the answer too. This is both a more effective way of showing the relationship and a good way for Bakshi to save time as it gets the riddle in to it without needing the scene where Gandalf reveals it. I would rather have had the reveal scene (which PJ does well) but as a means of dealing with its absence this could have been done worse. Bakshi then shows us Frodo looking at the Lake and telling Merry he is afraid of it and Boromir arguing with Aragorn that they would have been better bringing Saruman. In Bakshi's version it is Gandalf himself who remembers the answer, and Legolas who explains it, with Gimli adding rather wistfully “those were happier times” as the doors swing open.
PJ likewise goes around the Company and drops in on conversations as Gandalf attempts to open the doors. First it is Aragorn and Sam as they release Bill and set him off. Its a nice little moment but Bill doesn't mean much to the viewer as little has been made of him or Sam's fondness for him. Bakshi however has had Sam talk to Bill, or mention Bill, several times by this point and the pony has been with his hobbits since they left the Shire.
PJ then shows us Merry and Pippin throwing stones into the Lake and being stopped by Aragorn. In the book it is Boromir who throws a single stone and Frodo who warns him. Although Bakshi does not retain anyone throwing stones in the lake he does keep Frodo's warning.
Frodo then works out the answer to the riddle on the doors and they are opened- poor Merry, who works it out in the book, doesn't get a mention in either version.
PJ now has one of those confusing Gimli moments. Upon entering Moria he declares “Soon Master Elf you will enjoy the fabled hospitality of the Dwarves. Roaring fires. Malt beer. Red meat off the bone.” This is simply confusing to the viewer who does not know if Moria is an ancient ruin or full of dwarves. The subsequent finding of a lot of what appear quite old Dwarven skeletons does nothing to help resolve this. Weapons are drawn and Legolas declares “Goblins” and Boromir insist they should never have come here and (using Aragorn's line from the earlier debate scene in the book) that they should have gone by way of the Gap of Rohan. All this sudden heightening in tension is merely to build to the moment when the Watcher in the Water grabs Frodo, which is what happens next. Unfortunately it is the unexpected nature of this attack which provides the shock and tension in the book and does not feel as much of a shock in PJ's account because the tension has already been cranked up in preparation of it.
In the Bakshi version once the doors open everyone begins to go in when Frodo is grabbed by a tentacle from the water. Sam runs up to try and cut him free but has little success and is then joined by Aragorn and Boromir who chop him loose. Aragorn takes Frodo into the mine as Boromir hacks at the watcher and Gandalf shouts to “Get in the mine!”. And they all retreat inside as the Watcher slams the doors shut. Bakshi leaves us with the distinct (and inaccurate) impression that Bill doesn't get away as we see tentacles close in on him and hear Sam wailing “Poor old Bill. Poor old Bill.” Whilst Bill may escape (the viewer does not see his actual demise) it does at least feel a bit sad and Sam is clearly upset, something not so strongly conveyed in the PJ account.

[img][/img]

PJ's Watcher scene is greatly extended over both Bakshi's and the books. Not content with the source version PJ's Watcher picks Frodo up and dangles him in the air as Aragorn and Boromir chop at tentacles below. The entire Watcher emerges from the water, its mouth gaping to devour Frodo who is freed when Boromir chops the tentacle holding him, fortunately for Frodo the thirty or so foot fall does him no harm whatsoever and the Company retreat into the mine as the Watcher slams the doors shut and darkness descends.
Sadly neither version includes the uprooting of the trees or Gandalf's sad remarks regarding them.
Bakshi has Aragorn questioning Gandalf next, “What was the thing in the water?” and Gandalf's answer that he does not know “there are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world” and Pippin points out whatever it was it grabbed Frodo first out of everyone and Gandalf snapping at him to be quiet.
Following the closing of the doors PJ also uses the Gandalf line about older and fouler places but it is not in response to a question, merely a statement, no one asks in PJ's version what it was and no one points out it grabbed Frodo first. Surely it would have been better to have included this dialogue and had less of Frodo dangling preposterously from a tentacle?
PJ then gives the information it is a four day journey to the other side and follows this with a montage of walking shots through the caverns of Moria which give a good idea of the scale. Gandalf explains Mithril to the Fellowship as they stumble upon a Mithril seam in the rock. And Gandalf mentions Bilbo's shirt and the viewer is reminded Frodo is wearing it, it is not very subtle and close watchers of PJ's script will be well alerted that its shortly going to be a 'thing of importance' otherwise it would not have been so clumsily flagged up at this point.
Bakshi also employs the walking in the dark montage and immediately goes to the first nights camp. He uses this to introduce Gollum to the film by having Frodo spot his green eyes in the dark as the others sleep. There is no dialogue to accompany this scene and no explanation is given as to who or what it might be. Another walking montage follows focused on Frodo and then we are into the seconds night camp in the guard room with the well, which Gimli points out. Legolas comments that it is hard to imagine even dwarves living here and Gimli proudly replies “It was a great realm once” and Gandalf hushes both into silence. He really is portrayed as quite tense and snaps often, adding the sense of growing dread in the Bakshi version.
Gandalf declares that he does not know which of the three available passages to take and whilst this is being discussed Pippin drops a stone down the well, prompting Gandalf into an angry retort of “Fool of a Took”. Moments later the sound of tapping comes out of the well. As in the book it is left unexplained and nicely sets an ominous but unidentified threat in the air. Following this we have more walking in the dark and Legolas asking Gimli why dwarves would even want to come back, here Bakshi tells us about mithril and how precious it is. And then its into the Chamber of Marzabul.
Back with PJ he too has reached the guard room and the three passages. There is no well here as PJ has moved it to the Chamber of Marzabul. We do get Gollum making an appearance here and PJ now gives the pity speech by Gandalf moved from Shadow of the Past. I am in two minds about this. One the one hand it is a very good time to do so, it is the introduction of Gollum and fits the situation well enough. It is also one of the few simple things in the script, shot in the dark with just Gandalf and Frodo sitting there the viewer is focused on the words and their content. On that level it works very well and of all the moves of dialogue PJ makes is the best in Fellowship. On the other hand it reveals who is following the Fellowship much earlier than the book does (or Bakshi), that reveal does not come until the Great River as in the book Gollum also makes an unannounced and unexplained visit to the tree at Lorien Frodo is sleeping up. So it does ruin that mystery building.
PJ follows this scene with the Fellowship entering one of the Great Halls and Gandalf using a bit more light to show the place off. Gimli spots a tomb through a doorway and it turns out to be the Chamber of Marzabul.
Back in the Bakshi version and in the same place Gandalf finds the book, in this case just sitting on top of the tomb, and he begins to read it “seems to be a record of the colony” whilst Aragorn and Boromir look around finding orc swords and bones. Gandalf, still reading, informs the viewer that Balin is dead, shot by an orc from behind a rock, that the orc was slain and many more came, and something about the Watcher in the Water. All things from the book absent from PJ's version of the reading. Legolas looks nervous and Aragorn questions him and he warns that he feels something as Gandalf brings his dramatic reading to a conclusion with “Drums! Drums in the Deep!” There is an excellent steady build up of tension from the moment Moria is entered until this point when the horns of the orcs start blowing- the only problem is the lack of drums in the deep, a problem also in PJ's where there is a drum but not the huge cavern beating one the book gives the impression of.
Bakshi's account of the fight in the Chamber is very close to the book. The door is closed, a troll, to big for the doorway, tries to get through but only manages to stick a foot in, Frodo stabs it with Sting and it withdraws. But the Orcs break through. A brief skirmish ensues in which all but the Orc Chief is slain, he evades Boromir, then Aragorn and hurls his spear at Frodo which hits him square in the chest and he collapses. Aragorn recovers and slays the Orc, Frodo however is unhurt, although Bakshi gives no explanation for this at this time. Then the Company flee the Chamber down the stairs and towards the Bridge.
PJ has a different take on the Chamber. It begins with Gimli weeping by Balin's tomb. And Gandalf reading Balin's inscription on his tomb. However this issue is already confused and having Gandalf read out “Balin Lord of Moria” whilst accurate does not help clarify things in PJ's account but muddles them further.
Gandalf then finds the book among the bones and begins to read from it. It is a shorter reading than Bakshi's and includes made up bits not from the source, “a shadow moves in the dark” for example. To heighten Gandalf's final words of “They are coming” Pippin investigating a skeleton sitting on the wells edge disturbs it and it falls in, clattering noisily to the bottom. This is the cue for the drums to star beating and the orcs to be roused. Putting the well here works well enough for sudden drama but it not as creepy as the book or Bakshi's version with the tapping echoing up out of it.
PJ's fight is considerably longer than Bakshi's. It begins well with a nice build up as the door is slowly broken through, but the troll who only makes a one foot appearance in book and Bakshi gets a starring role in PJ's account, and it is the troll which eventually stabs Frodo with a spear before finally being dispatched. Incredibly this troll fight lasts for nearly 5 minutes (and contains all sorts of implausible events, apparently a hobbit can get thrown from the top of a troll onto his back several feet away and not even suffer light bruising, let alone the smashed ribs one might expect). PJ also chooses to reveal immediately to the viewer how Frodo survived by having the mithril shirt shown and discussed.
Where Bakshi now goes straight to the dash across the Hall to the Bridge of Khazad-dum PJ opts to increase the dramatics even further by including a crumbling staircase that the Company have to negotiate by implausible jumps or throwing each other across gaps (with some more misplaced humour, “nobody tosses a dwarf”). Eventually PJ's version finds its way back to the plot and the Company are pursued by orcs towards the Bridge. In both versions the orcs withdraw at the appearance of the Balrog. Bakshi places this right at the bridge, whereas PJ puts a good bit before (right before the crumbling staircase in fact) which allows him the time to build up the Balrog in dialogue from Gandalf before revealing it (although oddly the viewer already knows what it looks like thanks to Saruman's Big Book of Monsters earlier in the film).
The encounter with the Balrog on the bridge is very similar in both accounts with the main difference that PJ's Gandalf hangs about a surprisingly long time before falling whereas Bakshi's gets pulled right in with no grabbing anything. Of the two I prefer the quick drop as in PJ's there seems ample time to rescue him. Both then follow the Company out of Moria, with Bakshi's version including the door guards, quickly slain by Aragorn and Boromir as they exit. In the Bakshi version the Company now rest in Dimrill Dale with Aragorn tending to wounds. Frodo refuses treatment because there is “no hope without Gandalf” and Aragorn retorts “Then we must do without hope- there is always vengeance.” (Possibly to non-pc a line for PJ?) Aragorn then discovers the mithril shirt and we get the explanation for how Frodo survived. It works better here where there is time for it and where it makes sense in the context of Aragorn discovering it whilst tending to wounds. Frodo then hears Gollum's padding feet and says so and Aragorn tells him nothing evil will pass into Lothlorien, this prompts Boromir to comment“That is not what we say in Gondor. Out of Moria into the Golden Wood, is there no way less perilous? I'd almost rather face the Balrog again, than the Lady.” And we get Aragorn's very important line that there is no evil in Lorien unless a man brings evil there with him. This is an excellent little scene and sets up well the visit to Lothlorien with a clear difference of opinion in the Company over its relative dangers and a nice question mark over its 'Lady' and how humans view elves
PJ's version of this lacks the information about Gollum following them and the mithril reveal has already happened in the Chamber and the argument with Boromir does not occur. So once more he leaves his script with little relevant to do. Instead PJ focuses on Frodo's grief at the loss of Gandalf and on Aragorn's concern that orcs will soon be in pursuit and his necessary harshness in keeping the Company moving. There is nothing wrong with this scene but it lacks any plot information and misses most the debate about going to Lothlorien and Boromir's concerns and it goes without saying losing Aragorn's crucial line about evil is a mistake.

PJ – 30 minutes. Bakshi – 14 minutes


Points time. Its clear Bakshi sticks much more to the book than PJ does. What is most concerning is what PJ chooses to put in and what he chooses to leave out. Much of the information in the Book found in the Chamber is lost in his version, he loses the bulk of the debate afterwards and the entire bit about Lothlorien and Boromir's reaction (not to mention Legolas's “Then you know nothing in Gondor!”). And yet he gives nearly ten minutes collectively to spectacle during this half hour period that does nothing to develop characters or further the plot but are merely spectacle for its own sake.
Bakshi suffers still from pacing because of the time constraints but once again he gets much more of the book in there in less time than PJ manages and whilst you wish it could slow down a little and do more of what it is already doing well, it is still the better adapted of the two.

Bakshi 1-0 (PJ gets lost in the woods here)


Lothlorien and the Great River

[img][/img]

Having left out the content of the debate PJ adapts some of Boromir's sentiments towards Galadriel to Gimli. Perhaps PJ felt that this better emphasized the dwarf/elf dislike but I feel it detracts from the sad sense of estrangement between elves and men that Boromir displays. It is also clumsily written in Gimli's speech and ends on another poor joke with Gimli claiming he will have the ears of a fox then immediately being captured by elves.
PJ also introduces Galadriel here as sort of vision that Frodo receives in which he says the line “You are the footstep of doom to us” completely out of context and a viewer without prior knowledge of the book and this line in its proper place will have no clue as to what she means by that, or why. Its inclusion at this point is a bit of a mystery.
Gimli's poor joke leads to their immediate capture. Which allows PJ do introduce a character Bakshi does not have time for, Haldir. And PJ then has an overall good scene on a flet where Aragorn tries to persuade Haldir to allow them to go on, it is only let down by a crass moment of supposed comic relief when Gimli swears at the elves in Dwarvish.
Neither version includes the condition that Gimli be blindfold or the agreement Aragorn strikes that they all be, or Gimli's compromise only Legolas need be, which would have been a far better way of showing the dwarf/elf relationship if either had thought to include it. Haldir eventually leads the Company to Caras Galathon and they ascend the mallorn to to be received by Galadriel and Celeborn.
This is where Bakshi begins his scene. PJ's Galadriel is an odd, telepathic version, she and Celeborn both speak slowly in a dreamlike fashion and Galadriel communicates with Frodo in thoughts whilst still speaking the the rest of the Company. PJ begins this scene with Legolas explaining the fall of Gandalf, she speaks some words of comfort to Gimli and makes Boromir cry by saying “love is now mingled with grief” and holding his gaze. What is going on is not clear and it would be difficult to get from this the meaning in the book that Galadriel is holding each one of them in turn and testing them.
Bakshi's version of this is much shorter and begins with Galadriel welcoming them and introducing her and Celeborn and offering them rest. Then each comes forward as called and she looks into their eyes- making Sam blush. Bakshi does not show the entire Company going up but cuts away after Boromir. It is only slightly more effective than PJ at conveying what is going on, a difficult thing to do on film and both struggle with how to resolve this.
In the Bakshi film there then follows a song singing a lament for Gandalf and Aragorn explains to Frodo the meaning of Mithrandir. There is then a montage, Sam picking flowers, and the hobbits play fighting with Aragorn and Boromir, Legolas and Gimli shooting a bow together in the woods and Aragorn and Boromir sparring before going immediately into the Mirror scene.
PJ also goes from the meeting with Galadriel and Celeborn to a scene with the elves singing a lament to Gandalf and includes Sam attempt to put his thoughts about Gandalf's fireworks into rhyme. It is a nice touch spoiled yet again by a lame visual joke where Aragorn punches a snoring Gimli into attentiveness. However this is followed by a much better scene between Aragorn and Boromir where we learn what made him cry, he has no hope left. There is a nice speech about Gondor from Boromir spoiled by Aragorn having to look uncomfortable stuck playing the reluctant King role as he is and seeming not too impressed by the sound of Gondor.
PJ also goes to the mirror scene now. In his version Frodo is alone whilst in Bakshi's Sam goes with him and it is Sam who looks in first reporting that he has to home because they have “dug up Bag Shot Row and thrown my old Gaffer out in the street”. Galadriel warns him not all things come to pass unless the person goes out of there way to prevent them and asks Sam if he wishes to leave his master no. Sam unhappily says no and sits down in a grump. She then asks Frodo if he wishes to look. Reluctantly Frodo does.
In PJ's the drawn out dream like dialogue is back and the whole scene has an unreal quality to it. Frodo looks in the mirror and as there is no Sam he it is who sees the Shire being destroyed and laid waste before seeing the Eye. Galadriel follows this up with a speech completely ruined by the addition of a bit pointing Boromir out as the person who will “try to take the Ring from you. You know of whom I speak.” Its unbelievably crassly inserted and clumsy. Frodo then offers Galadriel the Ring and we get her big speech. PJ chooses to bury the performance beneath a mass of special effects meaning it is a shouted speech. Bakshi's has none of the flash and the speech is all the better for it. Bakshi also makes more of Galadriel having an elvish ring, with Frodo repeating the relevant line from the Ring verse about elvish rings, and she explains them to Frodo and that if he fails time will come to Lothlorien and it will fade “you are the footstep of doom to us Frodo”- PJ uses this line loosely, out of context and with no meaning at the start of the Lothlorien sequence before they are captured. Bakshi uses it much better here where the viewer realises as Frodo does the weight of the result of his actions. Realising this weight Frodo offers her the Ring, it is a much better structure than Bakshi's. Galadriel tells Frodo he must leave in the morning and that is Bakshi's farewell to Lorien.
Following the Mirror scene PJ cuts to Isengard and Saruman sending out the Uruk Hai to hunt down the Company (time and distance once again being flexible in PJ's script). Cutting back to Lothlorien we get a nice farewell scene complete with the giving of the gifts which Bakshi completely leaves out. There is some more forced humour here about hobbits love for food but it at least feels better placed than other examples. PJ also informs us orcs are following them (they do move fast those Uruk Hai) and the Company take to the boats and set off down the great River. Both versions of this are very alike, montage scenes of boats on a River, both stop to highlight the Argonath before going on to go back ashore. PJ includes an extra scene by the river bank in which Aragorn spots Gollum following them, this starts a good scene and shows Sam's growing concern for Frodo as well as highlighting obvious tensions in the Company over what route they should go next. Unfortunately at the last minute PJ abandons this good stuff in order to make it about his reluctant Aragorn and ends with Boromir taunting Aragorn and them having a grumpy falling out.

PJ- 20 minutes (includes Saruman scene) Bakshi- 6 minutes

[img][/img]

So to the points. Well PJ gets credit for having Haldir in there and the scene on the flet which is largely good. However his portrayal of Galadriel as dreamlike and telepathic is odd and disjointed and distances the viewer from the scenes and there is no reason for Sam's absence from the mirror scene. Bakshi is missing some important stuff, the gift giving the most important, it should be in there and makes one wish he had just been making Fellowship in this film and had the time for it. Even so Lothlorien makes more sense as a place and its in habitants whilst seeming magical in some undefined fashion never seem otherworldly as PJ's do. The first half of the river bank scene is also good from PJ but the reluctant King stuff brings it back down again.

A tight one this but 1-1 (Bakshi on penalties, PJ scores to many own goals here and messes up things he really shouldn't have).

The Breaking of the Fellowship/The Departure of Boromir


And so the last section of this comparison. Bakshi starts off with a meeting being held on the shore. Aragorn is asking what they should do, go to Mordor or Gondor with Boromir, and tells Frodo that he does not know what Gandalf had planned but even if he were here the choice would still fall in the end on Frodo, and Frodo asks for some time to think which he is granted.
PJ plays this scene a little differently. He begins with Legolas warning something is drawing near and a joke on Gimli about needing his strength for the journey through the Emyn Muil- PJ has no debate or dissension about the route here, it appears to have been already decided- before Aragorn notices Frodo has slipped off and so has Boromir. It then cuts to Frodo wandering in the woods and encountering Boromir who tries to convince Frodo to lend him in the Ring, Boromir grows angry and tries to take the Ring by force. It is all a bit quick in PJ's account. Whilst the dialogue is sourced from the book it is a much reduced version, less than half. Bakshi's version of it is fuller and keeps more of Boromir's dialogue, starting him off much less agitated and much more comforting “May I stay and talk with you? Just for a while?” The build up to him taking the Ring plays out more naturally as Boromir works himself up from questioning the strategy of destruction until “I am standing face to face with Sauron himself. And they tell us throw it away?”
Bakshi cuts back to an anxious Aragorn following Frodo feeling Boromir and Boromir returns, Aragorn questions him and he confesses he grew angry and Frodo vanished. The hobbits dash off shouting 'Frodo' and Aragorn sends Gimli and Legolas after them and then sends Boromir too, “I don't know what part you played in this mischief. But help now, go after Merry and Pippin and protect them.” This is an important line regarding Boromir's redemption and touching his final scene with Aragorn and it is a shame PJ left it out. Meanwhile Sam quickly works out Frodo would have gone to the boats and finds Frodo leaving. He jumps in the water and gets rescued by Frodo and eventually Frodo concedes to letting Sam go with him. Its a nice scene set in the boat with a touch of humour brought out in the books dialogue. Its ends with their boat slipping into the mist followed by Gollum clinging to a log. This is the last of Frodo and Sam in Bakshi's Fellowship section of his film.
By contrast PJ still has much for Frodo to do following his escape from Boromir. As in the book he runs to the the hilltop and the Seat of Amon Hen, where he sees the Dark Tower in Mordor and takes off the Ring. Falling to the ground (they really are bouncy these hobbits) he encounters Aragorn and asks him if he would destroy the Ring. Aragorn once again rejects the Ring. This scene seems entirely unnecessary and it alters the premise in the book that Aragorn does not know where Frodo has gone. And in fact had Frodo thought that his friends would risk their lives to give him time to leave he may not have gone at all, but more on that shortly. It ends with Sting glowing blue and the Uruk Hai arriving. There follows a series of fights involving Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and lots of orcs in the woods and Frodo trying to escape dodging between them. He encounters Merry and Pippin who then act as a distraction to allow Frodo to escape whilst putting themselves in mortal danger. Given in the book Frodo's sole reason for escaping on his own is so as not to put his friends in harms way the decision to leave Merry and Pippin to apparent slaughter so he can escape is completely out of character. Frodo has already left Aragorn face a huge horde of orcs on his own and now he does it again with Merry and Pippin, his own kin.
Having got chased by all the orcs Merry and Pippin are then rescued for a time by Boromir who holds off the enemy as they retreat and he blows his horn for aid. There can be no doubt Boromir's death scene in PJ's version is beautifully played out and it feels more epic than Bakshi's and more fitting for the end of a film (which in fairness to Bakshi his is not). Aragorn's killing of the orc who killed Boromir feels less good and seems to be there just for the sake of giving Aragorn an heroic fight against a worthy foe before the credits role.
Bakshi's version is more literal to the books and is shorter, with Boromir and the hobbits running literally into the orcs. It retains the tree against which Boromir is propped in the book when Aragorn finds him. Both versions have a funeral scene where the body is set in a boat and let loose with PJ including it going over the edge of the Falls of Rauros. PJ concludes his film with a shot of Frodo and Sam entering the Emyn Muil and uses dialogue which Bakshi includes in the boat scene.

So points for the final section. Again it is Bakshi who retains the most relevant plot points. He has the uncertainty over the route, the decision falling to Frodo and Aragorn's line to Boromir following the 'incident', all missing from PJ's. And its hard to forgive him for altering the entire character of Frodo and is reasoning for leaving and the manner in which he does it. In the book Frodo's decision is incredibly brave and needlessly harsh on himself- to go alone rather than risk his friends-in PJ's account Frodo's decision is cowardly- he would rather risk all his friends (including even Sam at this point) than risk getting caught himself.
PJ's death scene is easily the more powerful but let down by the redemptive fight scene which follows it.
It has to be another win for Bakshi 1-0 (PJ blows it by undermining Frodo amongst other sins).

So the total for score for part 2 of Fellowship of the Ring is:

Bakshi 6- 0 PJ

A hammering for PJ's script it seems. Even I am a bit shocked at how one sided that was I have to say.

The final score for Fellowship of the Ring in total therefore is :

Bakshi 12-2 PJ

Or in otherwords Bakshi's script is miles better despite having considerably less time to tell it in. The great tragedy is that PJ stole visual cues from Bakshi but not scripting ones. Had we got PJ's visual look combined with an explanded Bakshi script we would have been in Tolkien celluliod heaven. Sadly it was not be.
Let the arguing commence.

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:16 pm

No one wanting to challenge my assessment? Not even accuse me of bias! Nothing?
Come on folks, where are all the PJ fans?- put up a fight this is getting too easy around here!

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:51 pm

I was trying to find the scene between Boromir and Frodo from the Bakshi section but this is as close as I could find. The Boromir Frodo scene is right at the start. Have a watch and make your own mind up and see if you agree or disagree with my assessment.


_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by The Wobbit A Parody on Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:29 pm

First of all, my hearty congratulations on an incredibly thorough analysis, PT!

Let me also stipulate that RB used a script that is more faithful to JRRT's story than PJ.

However, I will remember for the rest of my life the deep disappointment I felt while leaving the theatre in 1978 after watching the much-anticipated RB version. All my D&D buddies felt the same way. It reminded me of the Rankin-Bass 1977 version of The Hobbit, in that it was very true to JRRT's story, but not visually what I expected. Although I found The Hobbit visually more pleasing than the Bakshi LOTR, and I liked the voice talent, too.

PJ's version of LOTR is abhorrent to some (like my sister-in-law, who reads the trilogy annually) because of the liberties it takes with the books, but it gives me (personally) the same feel as the books. Any good scene with Ian McKellan more than cancels out any bad scene with John Rhys-Davies.

Bakshi's film was so upsetting (not nearly as good as his earlier Wizards) to me that I can no longer look at his work impartially. If this were a trial, I would be excused from the jury.

-Paul
avatar
The Wobbit A Parody
Ringwinner

Posts : 244
Join date : 2011-06-07
Location : Chicago

http://thewobbitaparody.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Eldorion on Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:32 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:No one wanting to challenge my assessment? Not even accuse me of bias! Nothing?
Come on folks, where are all the PJ fans?- put up a fight this is getting too easy around here!

What's the point? I could criticize the many, many flaws with Bakshi's adaptation all day long but when you limit the scope of the discussion solely to which script is more like the book (as you have also done in the past) then you respond to any points about Bakshi's film making no sense as its own coherent story and being generally painful to watch with "well, we're looking just at the script and how it compares to the book". Razz When your sole criteria for evaluating a film is how close it sticks to the source material, not even how well it tells the story on its own terms, there isn't a lot of room for discussion.

I am somewhat heartened that you give the live-action films' visuals their due, though. Smile
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22444
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Eldorion on Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:48 pm

To show that I'm not just being snide, I'll explain my thoughts about your analysis of Merry and Pippin's accompaniment of Frodo as an example of what I'm saying. (I'm not going to touch on the visuals, the acting, or any of that stuff, but do my best to focus strictly on the story instead.) I've complained about the excision of Crickhollow before, and while I appreciate that PJ didn't have the time to linger in the Shire for as long as Tolkien did (even in a three hour film), I would still have liked to see Merry and Pippin as dedicated companions of Frodo from the start rather than the clowns they were for most of the trilogy. On this point we agree. However, the trilogy at least delivers a meaningful and coherent character arc for Merry and Pippin, as we see them grow throughout the trilogy. The film effectively tells their story within the context of the larger work, and while it's different from Tolkien's, it works perfectly well on its own merits.

Bakshi, however, drops Merry and Pippin out of nowhere* (and at the end of the film abandons them in the wilderness without any resolution at all, not even a few lines of narration like Aragorn got at Helm's Deep). They suddenly show up on the road with Frodo and Sam, and Frodo gives a few lines of incredibly awkward expository dialogue to explain their presence (though not who they are or why we should care about them). To be fair, PJ doesn't cover M&P's backstory either, but he at least sets up the characters beforehand so they are familiar to the audience when they show up in the cornfield. Them deciding to go on a quest with Frodo when they had just been on an afternoon of crop-thieving is pretty odd (I guess when they come back they have a lot of explaining to do their families, who had probably been expecting to find their decomposing bodies in a trash bag somewhere), but the presence of the Black Riders gives them a reason to help Frodo urgently and it keeps the story moving along briskly enough that we don't really think about what M&P might have been planning to do (not until Fridge Logic sets in).

So I think that the addition of Merry and Pippin to the Quest is flawed in both versions, but PJ unquestionably provides a better introduction to the characters (since he bothers to introduce them at all). On the other hand, Bakshi is closer to the book, because while he includes almost no detail at all, the motivation of M&P is at least reminiscent of the book. Which version is "better": the one that is similar to the book or the one that manages to tell that part of the story convincingly? Ideally I would prefer one that is both faithful to the book and also good storytelling (I think that's possible, certainly in this instance), but given the choice we have, I cannot with a straight face say that Bakshi's script is superior to PJ's in this instance (and it pains me so to say that, since I can't stand Philippa Boyens' attitude about adaptation Evil or Very Mad). But by the criteria you use I would have to, simply because it's more similar to the book!


*EDIT: I rewatched a bit more of this seen on YouTube and Gandalf does have a line about how Frodo should pretend he is going to live with "those cousins of yours, Pippin and Merry". So the audience would (if not in a boredom-induced stupor by now) recognize the names and their relationship to Frodo. I also appreciated the attempt at including a truncated version of "A Conspiracy Unmasked" and it does vastly improve the scene, but without a proper introduction for the characters there is no clear reason for Frodo to be as trusting of them as he is despite their confession. In the book, they have shown their loyalty to Frodo in various ways already, so both Frodo and the reader has a reason to believe them when they say they will follow Frodo on his Quest. In Bakshi's film, all we find out before their confession of spying is that they "insisted on coming along".

EDIT2: I should note that PJ doesn't do any better of a job showing Merry and Pippin's motivation from the book than Bakshi did, but because PJ changed the circumstances of that scene he's able to get away with it on storytelling terms. His M&P join Frodo out of urgency, and a mix of necessity (strength in numbers) and good-heartedness (helping Frodo). As I said before, I much prefer the book version, but PJ's story is in keeping with his characterization of M&P and builds off the introduction of the characters at the party as young, carefree Hobbits who aren't particularly good planners. Quite different from the book, but a coherent story in its own right. Bakshi, on the other hand, tries to make parts of the book work without context, and the film falls flat as a result (this has been called the "Tolkien's Greatest Hits" model of adaptation and I can't think of any better term for it Very Happy).
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22444
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:32 am

In my intorduction to this I did say I was comparing the scripts but leaving the question of whether it being more faithful or not made for a better film or not open. So the points you raise are not simply going to be dismissed by me as falling outside the scope of debate- this exactly the sort of response I was hoping to provoke Eldo.
I agree that Bakshi just drops Merry and Pippin in, but at least there is an attempt at some back story. Would Bakshi's version be improved by a longer set up, with a proper introduction of the characters? Of course it would. (I ish he had just done Fellwoship) But so also would PJ's and his offence is in some ways worse because he does have the time and squanders it recreating these characters to his own devices. He could also have included a shortened version of the Consipiracy Unmasked scene following the Rider scene, it would even have worked better I think in PJ's version because he has introduced the characters more fully by that point. And al lhe would have lost would have been the unnecesary firewrks scene to make space for it.
It does raise the question however of whether Merry and Pippin as written, and their background story invovling them with Frodo and the Ring can be transferred to film at all. The problem with LotR as a story to be adapted (or at least it seems to always be viewed as a problem) is that the begining is much longer than the rest of it.

edit add- I was rereading your post Eldo and it seems, beyond the visuals etc of the Bakshi version, that your main complaint boils down to the qeustion- is it better to recreate characters and scenes to suit better a film format, or is it better to reduce the original material to its bare bones and present it? And you would seem to favour, given a direct comparison between the two that it is better to alter it to be more film than to reduce it to be closer to the source and make it fit.
I don't actually entirely disagree with you. But my complaints about PJ's version, and I did not realise until I did this how often it happens, is PJ's script is clumsy. It more often than not trips itself up or does inexplicable things. Or does them for reasons I do not find justified.
For example having Saruman delibrately drive them into Moria- its understadable on a basic, he is the bad guy of the film, he has to be seen to be directly involved- but for me it is outweighed by making no sense within the confines of the story being presented- there is no reason behind it beyond that of adhering to the structure of 'keep the bad guy involved'. I don't buy that sort of internal logic to its own rules as an excuse.
And the mess he makes over Moria is even more odd as its one entirely of his own creating. The concept- theres an ancient dwarf city and mine, some dwarves tried to go back there and no one knows what happened to them, is not and should not be a difficult one to explain, and yet PJ's script is hamfisted in dealing with it. Why? I have no idea to be honest its just one of those very clumsy things it does regularly. Many of these type of changes do not seem to be driven by a neccessity of tranferring to film so much as the scripts being unfinished and rough in many places.
Sam's story background is a good place to examine what PJ does. Having decided for example to remove the 17 year gap it is logical therefore to use the Party to introduce all the main characters and something about them- and this is exactly what PJ does. With Sam we get his reluctance and lack of confidence in approaching Rose, and by the end of the film that story arc is completed when he asks her to marry him. Its a complete change from the book where Sam appears to already be in some sort of formal arrangement with Rose, (we learn when he gets back that he told her before he went he had to go away and there was something he had to do), so an alternative for PJ would have been to present that version of the story, with a scene in which Sam, already in a releationship, tells Rose he has to leave. Would that have been less suited to film? PJ presumably thought so as he preferred the perceived development from Sam with too little confidence to confident Sam on his reurn. But the potential wife being left behind whilst the men went off to war was a part of life Tolkien would know well and has been used to suitable dramatic effect in many a war film, could not PJ have used it equally well without the need to resort to altering the story arc? (WOuld Sam's speech on the slope sof Mount Doom not be more poignant if the viewer knew he had left the definite prospect of wife and fmily to sacrifice all for Frodo?)
I don't know what you think of that Eldo but I'd like your opinion, as it seems to go to the heart of it. Can the original character background work in a film?


Last edited by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:07 am; edited 1 time in total

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:56 am

My first post was a bit presumptuous, I have to admit. Embarassed Glad to see a response from you, Petty. Very Happy

I think (and this is something that has come up before) that there are two distinct ways in which you can evaluate the scripts: by their faithfulness as adaptations and by their quality as entertainment. In most cases I would probably have to agree with you that Bakshi takes the faithfulness category (although he is not as faithful as some have said, and I appreciate you pointing out the places where he deviates from the book). However, even ignoring the visuals and acting and soundtrack and everything but the script, I really can't say that I find Bakshi to be more entertaining than PJ. I do find Tolkien to be more entertaining (though it's easier to just "slip into" the films than it is the books), but while Bakshi tried to be faithful more than PJ did, he simply cut too much and didn't do enough to compensate for that. I think there could be a reasonably faithful adaptation that is still entertaining cinema, but I've yet to see it (I do need to get around to listening to the BBC Radio version, though). Smile

With that in mind, I'm not sure I'd say that PJ's "offence" was worth than Bakshi's, more that it was different. I think that the characters of Merry and Pippin are cheaper and lack depth in the films because they are used as comic relief so much (though not to the extent that poor Gimli is) and, while they do have genuine emotional moments later in the films when they grow up a bit, I miss the determined and loyal M&P of the book, and particularly savor moments like them allowing Frodo to escape at Amon Hen which, while not in the book, shows them acting more in character with the original. However, that is a subjective preference, and PJ's characters still work in the context of the sort of story he was trying to tell, despite being unfaithful (and IMO inferior) to the originals.
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22444
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:10 am

I was adding to my above reply Eldo as you were replying to me! And I may have rambled a bit ina buckie fashion but would like your opinion on my last point above?

I cannot agree about the Amon Hen thing because as I explained in the main peace it destroys Frodo's character for me. Oddly I agree that from a purely Merry and Pippin centric stand point it actually works well enough in their story arc as PJ presents it, but the collatoral damage on Frodo is too great.

- I really cannot believe you still have not listened to the radio plays yet- you haveno idea what you are missing out on and how well it adds to this current debate- they are on the skydrive you know!

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:56 am

I'm afraid I didn't see your edit at all when I made my last post! I too dislike the changes to Frodo at Amon Hen (though in comparison to what was to come they seem minor pale); I was speaking specifically about Merry and Pippin there. I'm also rather fond of Sean Bean's Boromir, though I know that he was changed from the book too.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:edit add- I was rereading your post Eldo and it seems, beyond the visuals etc of the Bakshi version, that your main complaint boils down to the qeustion- is it better to recreate characters and scenes to suit better a film format, or is it better to reduce the original material to its bare bones and present it? And you would seem to favour, given a direct comparison between the two that it is better to alter it to be more film than to reduce it to be closer to the source and make it fit.

I have mixed feelings, though I'm wary of extrapolating anything I've said here into a general rule because picking between Bakshi and PJ feels like picking the lesser of two evils. Razz I would rather have PJ's films than Bakshi's, but that boils down more to me finding Bakshi's film to be a steaming pile of manure than anything else, and I feel that way mainly because of elements other than the script. Had Bakshi found decent voice actors I think I would have liked his film considerably more, even if nothing else was changed, and the script is better than PJ's in places. However, I think it's too confused and abridged to do a good job overall.

I don't think that this is necessarily the case with faithful adaptations, though. I think a talented screenwriter could have taken Tolkien's characters and motivations and recast them in a version of the story made for film (shorter, faster-paced, etc.) without sacrificing key elements of the original. I don't think that The Two Towers would work divided into two distinct parts, as Tolkien wished, and I actually think that PJ was wise in his decision to make a three-part adaptation of LOTR rather than a distinct adaptation of each volume. The only reason the volumes are sometimes published separately is publisher's fiat, so the work isn't designed to be read in three separate parts. For a film trilogy like PJ's, however, he knew from the beginning that he was going to have three semi-distinct parts, and he is able to build the structure of the story with this in mind.

I don't actually entirely disagree with you. But my complaints about PJ's version, and I did not realise until I did this how often it happens, is PJ's script is clumsy. It more often than not trips itself up or does inexplicable things. Or does them for reasons I do not find justified.

That is true, and I was perhaps too zealous in my disapproval of Bakshi earlier, that I neglected to mention PJ's failings. PJ is an immature storyteller (David Bratman famously said he has "a nine-year-old's understanding of Tolkien" and I have to agree). He adds immature humor, some of which I enjoy, but that really has no place in a serious epic like LOTR. Tolkien had a much better sense of how to insert comic relief without ruining the tone. While I actually like much of the spectacle that PJ added, he also sank deeper into visual and storytelling absurdities as the trilogy went on, IMO because he lacks restraint (but that's something I've complained about elsewhere! Smile ).

PJ also relies far too much on the bildungsroman model, to the point where it feels that every character needs to grow up over the course of a character arc, which results in every character having flaws and weaknesses added for their own sake. I don't know if this is reflective of changing cultural tastes, but PJ feels uncomfortable with noble and unequivocally good heroes. PJ's obsession with bildungsroman and "arcs" might also explain why he felt the need to have Sam and Rosie separate at the beginning of the story, so that they would have a "journey" to go on together.

For example having Saruman delibrately drive them into Moria- its understadable on a basic, he is the bad guy of the film, he has to be seen to be directly involved- but for me it is outweighed by making no sense within the confines of the story being presented- there is no reason behind it beyond that of adhering to the structure of 'keep the bad guy involved'. I don't buy that sort of internal logic to its own rules as an excuse.

I am of two minds about PJ condensing villains. On the one hand, I appreciate the desire to make things clear to the audience and also develop certain villains further. I think part of this is due to the nature of film, being a visual medium, where you need to see what is going on in real time moreso than in a book. Tolkien gets away with rarely (if ever) showing his villains but I enjoyed getting to see more of them in films (partially because I like Christopher Lee!) but partially because I expect to see what the characters are talking about when I watch a movie.

On the other hand, I think that by attributing all evil in Middle-earth to Sauron and Saruman (and really just to Sauron, since Saruman is turned into a puppet) PJ shrinks the world of Middle-earth, making it poorer and less believable. Tolkien commented on this matter, in the context of Old Man Willow, in Letter 175, complaining "Cannot people imagine things hostile to men and hobbits who prey on them without being in league with the Devil!" (Tolkien is referring to Morgoth and Sauron as "the Devil" and his chief demon in this context.) PJ, it seems, has difficulty with this, although to be fair his exported version of OMW in Fangorn didn't seem have any connections with Sauron.

I like to think that there could be a happy medium (I keep coming back to that, don't I?) where the film-makers show what the principle villains are up to without attributing everything bad that happens to the heroes to said villains. I think this is workable: Saruman surely had enough going on without interfering in Caradhras, especially since PJ condensed the timeline so much. I'd be happy with such a solution.

I don't know what you think of that Eldo but I'd like your opinion, as it seems to go to the heart of it. Can the original character background work in a film?

It's going to depend on the specifics, of course, but I see no reason why not in the case of LOTR. It would have been simple enough to show Merry and Pippin interacting with Frodo at the party (being his cousins and fellow faux-aristocrats), building up their relationship through simple scenes like the Green Dragon in FOTR, and showing them leaving with Frodo and Sam from Bag End. It might have taken up more time than PJ's abridged, Frodo-centric version, but PJ could have had time to spare if he snipped scenes like the dragon firework.
avatar
Eldorion
He Who Seeks To Become a Master at Ye Old Temple In Merry Land... of Oz, or so I presume.

Posts : 22444
Join date : 2011-02-13
Age : 23
Location : Maryland, United States

http://nolondil.tumblr.com/essays

Back to top Go down

Re: Bakshi v PJ A Contest of Scripts

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:03 am

I think a broader look at how LotR has been adapted would help. Good place to start Eldo is here. Very Happy



Whilst a big fan of this adaptation there is much I don't like. Including how it opens, once it gets to the Shire onwards there is much to love however.

_________________
Pure Publications is Reasonably Proud to Present the first ever Forumshire novel!

Gingerlocks and the Three McTyrants

- get your copy here for a limited period- free*

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2678c57O-0LUEROYml2NTFEUTQ

PDF Version (courtesy of Amarie) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1_FdCbmY2-dC1MbXFOVl9UNm8/view?usp=sharing

*Pure Publications reserves the right to track your usage of this publication, snoop on your home address, go through your bins and sell personal information on to the highest bidder.
avatar
Pettytyrant101
Crabbitmeister

Posts : 39310
Join date : 2011-02-14
Age : 45
Location : Scotshobbitland

Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 10 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum