Faramir and other changes

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:44 pm

Good call Ringdrotten.

We, the purists, well me anyway, hereby challenge you the liberals (you know who you are) to defend the premise that PJ's changes to Faramir were justified, within the spirit of the character Tolkien wrote and make for better cinema than the book version.

But to begin on a specific.
In the commentary on the EE's the Coven justify some of the main changes to Faramir by claiming that as he is in the book undermines the sense of danger they had built up around the Rings power.
I say the changes they made in fact display a complete ignorance of the power of the Ring and how it works on people.
In the book all those who refuse the Ring do so at once and outright and suffer no harm or later doubts. Those who dwell on the idea, who keep the Ring close, who don't reject it outright eventually succumb. Gandalf, Aragorn, Elrond, Galadriel are examples of the former, Boromir, Denethor, Isildur are examples of the latter.

If Faramir had acted as he does in the films by the time he reached Osgiliath he would have been no more able to resist than Boromir, remembering especially that the Ring grows in strength the closer it gets to Mordor.
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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Eldorion on Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:04 pm

Shall we move the Faramir debate to a separate, more serious thread? Smile
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Faramir and other changes

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:35 pm

Well, given our habit of wandering where the conversation takes us I suspect we will end up covering more than Faramir, so if you do move it Eldo I'd give it a general tile, 'Purists v Liberals' or less confrontational, so as not to offend the soft liberal mind 'Debates on the Changes made in LotR' Wink

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Eldorion on Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:59 pm

Have at you!

I can appreciate the film-makers wanting to give Frodo and Sam an obstable in TTT since Shelob had been moved to ROTK (whether or not that was a good decision is a separate issue), but I don't see how you can argue that they were faithful to the book character. I'm sure GB will find a way though. Razz
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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Ringdrotten on Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:17 pm

I'm not very fond of the way they handled Faramir either. Mostly because I loved Faramir in the books, he was a great character (however, I do think he becomes that same great character at the end of TT and through RotK). I also dislike the change because it makes the Gondorians look pretty bad. To use Petty's list:

People who resisted the ring (film):
- Elrond
- Galadriel
- Gandalf
- Aragorn - a man, but not a Gondorian in the same way as Boromir and Faramir are Gondorians.
- Frodo (Caves in at the end, but who wouldn't)

People who could not resist the ring (film):
- Boromir
- Denethor
- Isildur
- Faramir

Those are all Gondorians. So much for the strength of the men of Gondor, hm? Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Ally on Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:34 pm

In the EE of the TT there are added scenes that imply, if I call correctly, that Faramir wasn't lured by the ring, just the potential of him pleasing his father, and this is similar to the relationship that they share in the book. I may be misremembering this though... But there are scenes in EE which show him as brave and wise, closer to his bookself, than the theatrical cut.

Very Happy
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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Eldorion on Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:58 pm

I don't recall if this is an EE-only scene, but there is a part where Galadriel discusses (during her telepathic conversation with Elrond) that the Ring is trying to get back into the hands of men, in particular Faramir. I don't think it's a big stretch to suggest that the Ring was tempting Faramir in some way, though I suppose it is somewhat ambiguous. I hadn't really thought about it in the way you did, to be honest.

In any event, I definitely agree that the EE cut version of Faramir (not to mention ROTK) is much more sympathetic, but I do still miss the book version. The screenwriters seemed to feel that he needed more prominent flaws and weaknesses. Mad
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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Gandalf's Beard on Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:36 pm

Ally wrote:In the EE of the TT there are added scenes that imply, if I call correctly, that Faramir wasn't lured by the ring, just the potential of him pleasing his father, and this is similar to the relationship that they share in the book. I may be misremembering this though... But there are scenes in EE which show him as brave and wise, closer to his bookself, than the theatrical cut.

Very Happy

I agree completely!

I have no problem with Faramir in the films, except for the part where he and his men beat the hell out of Smeagol Mad . I definitely could have done without that.

But other than that, it's important to note that the film DOESN'T show Faramir as tempted by the Ring at all. He could have just taken the Ring if he was actually personally tempted, which he never does. As Ally says, he wanted to please his father, that was all. In the film he doesn't display any desire for the Ring itself...putting him much in the same camp as Aragorn.

Hell, even Galadriel was more tempted by the Ring itself than Faramir.

GB
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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:04 pm

Nonsense! PJ uses every director trick in the book to make Faramir appear a threat for as long as possible. From the sinister shot of him looking down from the Window on the West as his men drag the screaming Gollum away, to his clear desire when he flicks the Ring out with the end of his sword from beneath Frodo's shirt.
Besides what does it matter whether Faramir kept the Ring close to please his father or not? What does the Ring care about the reason? It just needs a bit of time to work on you. Boromoir wanted to save his people, his reason did not stop him eventually succumbing.
And Boromir and the Ring were far from Mordor.

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Gandalf's Beard on Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:13 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Nonsense! PJ uses every director trick in the book to make Faramir appear a threat for as long as possible. From the sinister shot of him looking down from the Window on the West as his men drag the screaming Gollum away, to his clear desire when he flicks the Ring out with the end of his sword from beneath Frodo's shirt.
Besides what does it matter whether Faramir kept the Ring close to please his father or not? What does the Ring care about the reason? It just needs a bit of time to work on you. Boromoir wanted to save his people, his reason did not stop him eventually succumbing.
And Boromir and the Ring were far from Mordor.

Well, I did point out that I didn't like the way Faramir and his men treated Smeagol. But he looked at the Ring without actually taking it for himself. Boromir actually tried to take the Ring, Faramir did not.

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:18 pm

My point is Boromir eventually tried to take the Ring. He didn't do it right away, he dwelt on it, with it close by whispering in his head, it played on his biggest weakness, his desire to save his people. How much more direct and potent an emotion did it have with Faramir, the love for a father? The Ring would have exploited that, of course Faramir isn't going to try and take it right away but if he had taken Frodo (and the Ring) captive, then went with them on the long march to Osgiliath, he would have taken the Ring by the time he got there. PJ's logic doesn't hold up. In his version Faramir doesn't take the Ring he lets it go for some completely unrealized reason.

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Gandalf's Beard on Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:28 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:My point is Boromir eventually tried to take the Ring. He didn't do it right away, he dwelt on it, with it close by whispering in his head, it played on his biggest weakness, his desire to save his people. How much more direct and potent an emotion did it have with Faramir, the love for a father? The Ring would have exploited that, of course Faramir isn't going to try and take it right away but if he had taken Frodo (and the Ring) captive, then went with them on the long march to Osgiliath, he would have taken the Ring by the time he got there. PJ's logic doesn't hold up. In his version Faramir doesn't take the Ring he lets it go for some completely unrealized reason.

Just because you won the Scouring debate doesn't mean I'm going to roll over on this one. Razz

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:34 am

I thought it was fairly self-evident that in the scene in the cellar Faramir was being tempted by the Ring as he looked at, even if he wasn't before then. I think Petty makes a very good point about the different ways in which the Ring's temptation manifests itself. Smile I think that movie!Faramir ultimately realized the danger of the Ring by hearing the true fate of Boromir and seeing what Frodo had been reduced to. The question then becomes why he was willing to let an already-weakened Frodo walk into Mordor, but that's a different topic. Razz
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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:29 am

No! Its the same topic Eldo! I'm not letting these liberals off that easy. Explaining Pj's changes to Faramir has to include that part- why does PJ's Faramir let Frodo go at all?
If the Coven actually understood the Ring then its not because of it, Frodo's actions, as you say Eldo, would not have inspired much confidence- quite the opposite Frodo tries to give the Ring away to the nazgul right in front of Faramir.

I say again (and again if necessary but louder) the writing of Faramir not only SUCKS it doesn't even make sense!

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Ringdrotten on Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:35 am

[quote="Pettytyrant101"]Frodo's actions, as you say Eldo, would not have inspired much confidence- quite the opposite Frodo tries to give the Ring away to the nazgul right in front of Faramir.

[quote]

I don't agree that Faramir sucked, but I agree with what I quoted above. Sending Frodo off with the ring after he saw him trying to hand it over to a Nazgul doesn't seem very sensible.

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Gandalf's Beard on Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:59 am

The worst thing about Faramir for me was the brutal way he and his men treated Gollum Mad . That was completely unnecessary.

But I don't think one can make a categorical statement about him being tempted by the Ring. Boromir was tempted from the very beginning; that was made very clear by his belligerent attitude at Rivendell. The Ring had already taken him. Faramir didn't display any sign of temptation. Not even when he used his sword to lift up the Ring. The very fact that he wouldn't even touch it or take it off Frodo indicated that he was troubled by the Ring's presence and sensed its Evil.

His only hope was that possibly a stronger ego like that of his father or brother would be able to wield it without succumbing, not understanding that the Ring worked its Evil most on those with big Egos.

As to letting Frodo leave, what else could he do once he understood how the Ring worked? Send some of his men to escort Frodo and Sam into Mordor only to have them succumb to the Ring's Evil? No! He trusted in Sam to look after Frodo.

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:54 pm

Sorry GB but that's a pile of self-justifying poo worthy of the Coven themselves Shocked
Knowing the Ring is bad and how it works is no protection against it- if it was Gandalf or Elrond would have taken it to Mordor. No matter how evil Faramir thought the Ring was, how distrustful, how suspicious, it would still have worked on his mind, worked on his emotions for his father, sought out his weakness, day after day on the long march to Osgiliath.That the Ring acts this way is clearly stated in book and film.

For the Coven the driving motivation was not to 'improve' Faramir, it was not to do anything storywise- their real reason was to have an exciting dramatic conclusion to the Frodo/Sam line that could go alongside the finale of Helms Deep. Helms deep is a fine enough climax for a film (not the one it should be but its dramatic and upbeat) there's nothing by comparison in the Frodo Sam bit that would make as good a climax if you decide to end the book in the middle like that. So they made stuff up.
And this real purpose shines through at every turn in the script with ill-considered actions and on the hoof writing which has not had any scrutiny or the time for considered thought. Culminating in Faramirs decision whose only real logic is the logic of the writers to get Frodo Sam back where they should be in the story. That's why it plays out so badly.



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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:27 pm

Gandalf's Beard wrote:The worst thing about Faramir for me was the brutal way he and his men treated Gollum Mad . That was completely unnecessary.

I totally agree on that one.

But I don't think one can make a categorical statement about him being tempted by the Ring. Boromir was tempted from the very beginning; that was made very clear by his belligerent attitude at Rivendell. The Ring had already taken him. Faramir didn't display any sign of temptation. Not even when he used his sword to lift up the Ring. The very fact that he wouldn't even touch it or take it off Frodo indicated that he was troubled by the Ring's presence and sensed its Evil.

I think that Faramir's scene where he confronts Frodo is very similar to the scene where Boromir picks up the Ring on the mountain. Both are in close proximity to the Ring, touching it indirectly and talking in a quiet, very distant voice, as they reflect on the Ring. Both are interrupted before they can do anything, though to be fair, Boromir is reaching for the Ring, whereas Faramir does not. I think this reflects a difference in the brothers, but the similarities in the scenes suggest to me that they were both being tempted.

As to letting Frodo leave, what else could he do once he understood how the Ring worked? Send some of his men to escort Frodo and Sam into Mordor only to have them succumb to the Ring's Evil? No! He trusted in Sam to look after Frodo.

Given the recurrent theme of human weakness in the films I could see him not trusting his own men, but on the other hand, his men had not just attempted to give the Ring to the Nazgul. The point about Sam is a fair one, but on the other hand, Faramir was addressing Frodo more directly at their departure, so if the writers were trying to show that Faramir was trusting in Sam I think they should have handled the scene differently. Really, the whole Osgiliath sequence was a mess, even if one accepts it as necessary to replace Shelob. It could and should have been handled much better.
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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Kafria on Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:42 pm

I was too focussed on the scouring yesterday to give this due thought. I've just read through and have a few thoughts

Faramir in the film is clearly tempted, I think this is absolutley clear to me from the scenes in the book and I believe the parallels with the Boromir scene show this may well have been the intention of PJ and co. Even if Faramirs motivations are different from is brothers (to please his father) that dosen't change the fact that the ring is seen to be working on his weakness in the film.

This brings me onto what I feel is the main difference between book and film Faramir, the comparison between the two brothers is clear in that Faramir is likened to the old kings as opposed to the lesser stewards of Gondor. Part of the key conflict between himself and his father in the book comes from the fact that he is close to Gandalf and takes his council wisely. Faramir has been in this position with his father for a long time, has chosen to take Gandalfs council despite this displeasure and to suggest that his difference in character would not hold true here is wrong.

The use of the violence, apart from being wrong and against character also produces another problem, it hides the fact that Gollums trust in Frodo is shattered and it is from this that Gollum self justifies taking Frodo to Shelob, a key point in that relationship.

Finally, I don't hold with the idea that it had to be done for film reasons. By removing the silliness of Faramir taking Frodo to Osgiliath, but retaining Gollums sense of betrayal you could easily end with the parting of the ways in Ithilien, Gollum/Smeagol debate and a shot of them starting up the path for this side of the story. This also allows Helms Deep to be the climax of the film instead of competing.

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:55 pm

I think the entire ending of The Two Towers (which the writers admitted they struggled with) would have been much stronger if they had ended it with suspense, almost a cliff-hanger, the Battle for Middle-earth truly about to begin. The writers complained that TTT didn't have a real ending because it was the middle chapter, so apparently they felt the need to make one, I think they missed the point that TTT isn't supposed to have a full ending. Being the middle chapter is not necessarily a bad thing Some emotional resolution is necessary, and the Battle of Helm's Deep provides that, but the film should have ended there, with the tension still cranked up, rather than 10-15 quiet, reflective minutes later.
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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:38 pm

"By removing the silliness of Faramir taking Frodo to Osgiliath, but retaining Gollums sense of betrayal you could easily end with the parting of the ways in Ithilien, Gollum/Smeagol debate and a shot of them starting up the path for this side of the story."-Kafria

Thats almost exactly how I worked it in my edits! Very Happy

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Gandalf's Beard on Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:40 pm

I respectfully disagree with those that disagree with my reasoning. I've stated my views on the subject, and I don't really have any more to add.

I am as unlikely to be convinced as others are of my point of view. It was the way I saw the character of Faramir from the very first time I saw the films. And every time I see them, I see nothing to change my mind.

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Gandalf's Beard on Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:43 pm

By the way Eldo, is there any way for you to add a "cancel post" button as well as the "preview" and "send" button? MY PC still occasionally glitches and double or triple posts.

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Kafria on Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:44 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:"By removing the silliness of Faramir taking Frodo to Osgiliath, but retaining Gollums sense of betrayal you could easily end with the parting of the ways in Ithilien, Gollum/Smeagol debate and a shot of them starting up the path for this side of the story."-Kafria

Thats almost exactly how I worked it in my edits! Very Happy

Haven't got that far yet, but have watched the first half of fellowship. (I like! Laughing Laughing ) although I guess thoughts should go elsewhere.

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Re: Faramir and other changes

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:45 pm

"The writers complained that TTT didn't have a real ending because it was the middle chapter"- Eldo

And they were wrong! It has a great middle film ending if done as the book with Frodo taken captive by the orcs and Sam outside and with Gandalf taking Pippin away from Merry and off to Gondor. Its a great ending for a middle film with everything hanging in jeopardy. Like Empire in star wars-also a great middle film for the same reasons.

"although I guess thoughts should go elsewhere."- Kafria

I'll make a thread for comment on them. I was waiting to see if the old thread turned up on PT so I could include Ringdrottens review. But no luck spotting it so far.

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Pettytyrant101
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