Faramir

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Faramir

Post by Radaghast on Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:17 pm

One of the screenwriters for LotR (don't remember if it was Boyens or the other one, whatever her name is) said, keeping close to the book in regards to Faramir (how he would not touch the thing "if it lay on the highway") would have been "cinematic death". It seems to me she is missing a couple of points. First, Faramir doesn't confirm that he has no interest in the Ring until later, and there is some doubt before that whether he is sincere or not. Second, the bit where Faramir and his men see Gollum in the Forbidden Pool is also fairly tense.

But I'm curious to see what others think. Were the screenwriters wrong about "cinematic death" or were they right to condense Faramir's part and also strip him of much that made him significant/special? If they were wrong, how would you envision this being told? (And I'm suddenly curious to see how PT handles Faramir's scenes in his cut)


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Re: Faramir

Post by Tinuviel on Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:40 pm

I think they could have left him the way he was. Boyens says that a lot of the canon material was "cinematic death." In my opinion they just weren't creative enough to work with what they had. Faramir's decency should be showed throughout. The flashback sequence shows already he's different from Boromir and that Denethor thinks less of him. I think they should keep the moment with him thinking about taking the ring, but taking them to Osgiliath? NO.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Radaghast on Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:42 pm

Yeah, taking them to Osgiliath makes no sense in any context. I think those screenwriters think tension only in terms of big showdowns involving some climactic fight or other. So, yeah, I agree they're simply lacking in creativity.


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Re: Faramir

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:44 pm

I certainly dont think they were right- the BBC radio play retains Faramir from the book, including that line and it works perfectly.
The Coven say they had to make him an obstacle, but thats to misread his purpose in the story, he is an obstacle just not to Frodo and Sam but more to his father- if you set Faramir up on first introductions as being as dodgy and potentially cruel as they do (the beating of Gollum, taking the hobbits captive for example) then you destroy the relationship and all that ensues from it with Denethor.

Also why would the audience assume when Faramir says that he will not take it he means it?- his brother made similar agreements in front of an entire Council of World Powers and was still overcome by desire for the Ring once it was within his potential grasp - that Frodo and Sam consider and are afraid of this too is clear from the scene where Faramir finds out and Frodo and Sam draw their swords prepared to defend and fight if necessary.

No it just the Coven being totally hopeless and using a Writers 101 book to compose their script which told them everyone has to be an obstacle to the main characters to create tension. Pathetic really.

Agreed Tin, if it was me I would have cut away elsewhere when Sam say "Wont you let him go?" and the other guy comes in and says they must leave at once- and then when I went back to the scene it would be the departure scene and Faramir showing his colours. That way you retain the tension of the moment by making it a mini cliffhanger and you lose nothing of the character of Faramir by having him take them on a forced march to Osgiliath.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Radaghast on Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:46 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Also why would the audience assume when Faramir says that he will not take it he means it?- his brother made similar agreements in front of an entire Council of World Powers and was still overcome by desire for the Ring once it was within his potential grasp - that Frodo and Sam consider and are afraid of this too is clear from the scene where Faramir finds out and Frodo and Sam draw their swords prepared to defend and fight if necessary.
Excellent point.

Another thing about the movie that fails to make any sense to me is, if movie-Faramir wanted the Ring, why didn't he take it?

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Re: Faramir

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:50 pm

And why didnt it have any effect on him on the long march to Osgiliath especially given the mood and action he has taken towards Frodo and Sam? I am sure is sense of not being loved by his own father and favoured less than the brother he has heartbreakingly lost would give the Ring very fertile ground indeed to work on Faramir with.

Its just an ill thought out mess, cooked up (by their own admission) at the last minute for a script that was the 'neglected middle child'- they had no idea where it was going or how to end it and seem to have made the decisions regarding this section up n the fly. And boy does it show. One of the worst sections in the films I'd say.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Radaghast on Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:55 pm

Agreed. To be fair, lots of movies suffer from porous scripts. You'd just hope Tolkien's work would be deserving of better treatment than your average film script. Apparently not.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Music of the Ainur on Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:48 pm

All good points.

The coven seems to be stuck on presenting the ring as the all corrupting force and has chosen to delete anything that was contrary from the books no matter that these changes weaken the story.
The examples that come to my mind right now are Tom Bombadil, Faramir, Merry and Pippen give little looks (I thought anyway) like they wanted the ring in the movies.

J.R.R also made the point that the ring had this ability to make people desire it of course, but he also chose to show that there were exceptions. Tom and Faramir are the two most obvious ones. The decision to omit them or re write these characters is in my opinion a sad and diminishing change to the story.

The excuse they give for doing so is weak.
Pettys point of how they could retain some tension is a good one. In the book there was tension too, you weren't completely sure what Faramir would do about it. The change made in the film was pathetic in my view.

To make Faramir decide to take Frodo and the ring to Denathor only to send him off alone through the enemy lines after he just witnessed Frodo trying to offer the ring to the wraith is just plan stupid and weak.
If Faramir saw Frodo offer the ring to the wraith and then just let him go east towards the enemy that would be treason and high foolishness indeed.

How exactly did this change make Faramir or the story better? Making him change from a wise and good man into a treasonous fool?

In the book the Faramir scenes were a much needed break from the tension of Frodo and Sam off on their own approaching perilous Mordor. It was a refuge and a much needed insertion of how even in the bad neighborhood of Saurons power there were still un-corrupted and benevolent "Good powers" still at play.

In Faramir was found a good and wise man who had the judgement to see that if Gandalf and the "wise powers of M.E". had approved this plan and this course of action however insane it appeared, that he would do his part to aid the bearer of this burden in any way he could.

Faramir was one of my favorite characters in the books. In the movie he was reduced (like almost every other character sadly), into a thin and shadowy corruption of the J.R.R. creation.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:55 pm

I agree completely Music- there is no justification for those particular changes which holds any water.
They made Faramir contradictory- one minute suspicious, cruel and prone to taking captives and yet that all comes right after his retained speech over the dead Haradrim- and the two no longer sit together in the films.

I also heartily agree that the end scenes with Frodo trying to give the Ring straight to the Nazgul and only being prevented from doing so by the intervention of Sam completely destroys all Faramirs credibility- having brought them this far why on earth having just witnessed Frodo trying to give the Enemy his ultimate weapon back would he then decide now was the right time to let them go?

It doesnt make the slightest bit of sense on any level. Shockingly bad writing, but even more shockingly appalling given the original material they had to work with.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Radaghast on Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:20 pm

I too thought Frodo was giving the Ring to the Nazgul, but he's actually trying to put it on. Which is not much better, mind. Frodo probably would have had the temptation to put it on but he would not march straight up to the Wraith first.



At :45, he's holding up the finger on his other hand as if to put the Ring on it—though, with the chain still attached, I'd imagine that would be rather awkward and uncomfortable.

Whatever the case, Faramir's resultant actions don't make sense, regardless.

Also, the impetus of the screenwriters' decisions seem to stem from their disbelief that Faramir could resist the Ring, which is just plain nonsense, considering that seven of the Nine Companions were able to do just that (Frodo already had it, so I'm not counting him; plus he wasn't able to resist it at the end).

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Re: Faramir

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:27 pm

My mistake, quite right Raddy, been a long time since I saw all the PJ crap I edited out!

Not that that it makes any difference as all it would do would be put him firmly in the clear sight of the Withchking as it does on Weathertop- not like it would have hidden him, quite the opposite- and it seems from how its cut that Faramir is too far away to see much more than Frodo just standing there in front of the Nazgul waiting to be captured, and would have been were it not for Sam- either way its the opposite of a reason for Faramir to let them go.
It also raises the rather awkward question of how come Sauron didnt know a hobbit carrying the One Ring was on the borders of his land- and if he had known that one would have expected him to unleash his forces almost instantly to try to reclaim it, in the films Osgiliath seems to be only about a good stones throw from Mordor.

Everything about that section is just a sad badly thought out mess.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Radaghast on Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:37 pm

Exactly right on all counts, especially the last. Osgiliath would or should have been swarming with Ringwraiths and orcs after that encounter.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Orwell on Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:38 pm

Music of the Ainur wrote:J.R.R also made the point that the ring had this ability to make people desire it of course, but he also chose to show that there were exceptions. Tom and Faramir are the two most obvious ones. The decision to omit them or re write these characters is in my opinion a sad and diminishing change to the story... ... ... ... ... ... ... Faramir was one of my favorite characters in the books. In the movie he was reduced (like almost every other character sadly), into a thin and shadowy corruption of the J.R.R. creation.




Just so. Non-stereotypical characters engage you and therefore enhance stories not diminish them... just so in quality movies too. If the Ring was so all-overawing, why didn't every character who knew Frodo had it not try to take it? Maybe like some of Illuvatar's demi-gods (angels?) at the making of the Music at the beginning being attracted to Melkor while most weren't. Subtle things don't ruin movies, a cowardly weakness for all things stereotypical (and seemingly safe) does.


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Re: Faramir

Post by Radaghast on Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:45 pm

He was supposed to be his bro's opposite in a lot of ways. But the movie just makes him almost his brother squared. Just strips the story of the author's intention completely. Just not excusable, imo. Find a better way (not to say the book isn't good enough).

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Re: Faramir

Post by Bluebottle on Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:20 pm

I think the changing of Faramirs character was one of those instances where changing the story removed an important aspect the writer felt strongly about including in the story.

Still for all that can be said against bad writing, at least it starts long and interesting discussions.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Tinuviel on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:26 pm

They couldn't really make Faramir a different, non-stereotypical character because then he would stand out as being just as cool as Aragorn, which couldn't be allowed. The same thing goes for his love story with Eowyn. The most beautiful and realistic romance in most literature I have read has been shoved aside for one that is completely at the hands of a self-proclaimed "feminist energy." Fararmir was a great character, and he's redeemed a bit in ROTK, but the feeling I get when I watch the third film is that all the BS in TT was not needed and useless. We had the feeling that this was the real Faramir all along, so why was he such an ass in TT?

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Re: Faramir

Post by Radaghast on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:38 pm

To expedite the story, logic be damned.

Same deal with the Ents.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:44 pm

Yeah Treebeard the Shephard of the Forest who doesnt even know Sarumans chopped half his forest down over the past few months!  :facepalm: 

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Re: Faramir

Post by Radaghast on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:49 pm

Yeah, it's pretty daft Laughing

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Re: Faramir

Post by Tinuviel on Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:52 pm

Well he was asleep for a while... Shrugging 

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Re: Faramir

Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:54 pm

I can well understand why they were spooked by Faramir, but what they did with the Nazgul just makes no sense to Faramir's change of heart. They somewhat pulled it off by a swelling musical score over Sam's "what are we fighting for" speech, but I think they risked more if that speech fell flat than they would have risked by allowing Faramir to be portrayed as in the book.

For Faramir to work as in the book he has to be written and played just right. Tolkien was up to it. I think the coven was aware they weren't, so tried to play it safe. And fumbled.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Music of the Ainur on Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:29 am

Radaghast wrote:I too thought Frodo was giving the Ring to the Nazgul, but he's actually trying to put it on. Which is not much better, mind. Frodo probably would have had the temptation to put it on but he would not march straight up to the Wraith first.

At :45, he's holding up the finger on his other hand as if to put the Ring on it—though, with the chain still attached, I'd imagine that would be rather awkward and uncomfortable.

Whatever the case, Faramir's resultant actions don't make sense, regardless.

Also, the impetus of the screenwriters' decisions seem to stem from their disbelief that Faramir could resist the Ring, which is just plain nonsense, considering that seven of the Nine Companions were able to do just that (Frodo already had it, so I'm not counting him; plus he wasn't able to resist it at the end).

You are correct he was slowly putting it on, my bad. I suppose I had remembered him holding the ring up to show the wraith (which is sort of what he did) but he was slowly putting his finger towards it to put it on.  I suppose through all that invented scene my brain was revolting in my head and I was probably grumbling or cursing or laughing or crying or something. I have only made it through these movies a few times without just turning them off at some point. I am certain that they have never completely held my attention for long because of my brain revolting and my grumbling inside over crap that disturbed me.

...None the less my point stands that Faramir after witnessing this foolish behavior that put every free creature in middle earth in great peril then chose to send the untrustworthy and foolish little hobbits off to try to slip across the enemy lines sneaking through the sewers or some such thing. The invaders surely wouldn't have infested the sewers or be in position to hinder any one trying to slip out  through their territory.
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But perhaps Faramir wasn't that foolish in light of how completely inept the allegedly deadly wraiths are in these films.
It would appear that the wraith knew that the ring was right in front of him, being held by a weak and unarmed small dazed Hobbit and still the big scary fearsome  wraith couldn't get the job done.

I think Sauron should find some new bad asses because over and over again they are made to look foolish by tiny little furry footed guys who seem to be able to slip away. The wraiths surely seem to have lost their killer edge.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Music of the Ainur on Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:55 am

Tinuviel wrote:They couldn't really make Faramir a different, non-stereotypical character because then he would stand out as being just as cool as Aragorn, which couldn't be allowed. The same thing goes for his love story with Eowyn. The most beautiful and realistic romance in most literature I have read has been shoved aside for one that is completely at the hands of a self-proclaimed "feminist energy." Fararmir was a great character,

It does seem like they didn't want too many strong characters. They also appeared to believe that all of them as written had to be diminished or they would be unpalatable to the movie going audience. They messed the Eowyn / Faramir story up, I too found that bit as a nice human feeling twist on the big epic Minas Tirith war story. A part of the tale to show the fragile side of people and how their spirit can be harmed and healed.

I hated the implied Aragorn toying with Eowyn vibe that I got in TT as well. She obviously did have a thing for him in the books but he Never led her on or flirted with her like in the movies.

And I have said before somewhere in some thread... that the first time I read RotK to me one of the largest moments was when she stood and said I am no man and kicked the captains arse. It was a climactic moment.She was such a powerful character in the books. Strong and determined to make a difference and do something.
The movies F'd her up so much it is one of the major fumbles on the part of the coven. If they wanted to bring more female energy into the story they surely blew it on her. Perhaps the most golden legitimate opportunities to make a powerful woman shine. They did a horrible job with her  Banghead 

Petty mentioned Treebeard:

Here the movie fools again turned a great character into a slow witted shadow of what Tolkien created. It took the subtle genus of Pippen (I don't think it was Merry) to Trick the Ents into becoming involved instead of the story as written where after long thoughtful discussion the Ents decided to rise and do their part. Good thing for Rohan and all free creatures that Pippen was such a shrewd and Wiley  strategist to fool and manipulate one of the oldest and wisest creatures in middle earth into doing the right thing... Banghead Banghead Banghead

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Re: Faramir

Post by feanor 1999 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:46 am

Ayup All...

I don't see why we had to detour either to Osgiliath just for Faramir to 'Show his Quality', a great line that is immensely cheapened in the Trilogy. He does that at Henneth Annun, but obviously Peej wanted to ramp up the tension again... Bleuuurg.

Having said that, the Interrogation scene in the film is one of the most harrowing bits of film I've ever seen. And how Gollum speaks to himself to Doubly justify betraying Frodo always makes me shudder. There must be many poor souls in his situation there in real life every day, and so it makes it for me, a very powerful piece of film.

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Re: Faramir

Post by Radaghast on Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:50 pm

Dammit, there's already a thread about Faramir and it didn't occur to me to look  Embarassed 

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Radaghast
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