We did it. We finally did it.
We finished watching The Lord of The Rings. Yes, the trilogy of movies that was made fifteen years ago .
Yes, it was my first time. Yes, I realize I am WA-AY behind the rest of the civilized world (those Irish kids who played the Hobbits must be in their thirties by now!). Since I was one of the last people (living in the Western world) under the age of seventy to buy a CD player and home computer, this should come as no shock.
What took me so long
Why I never watched it in theaters: I have never been really into movies, and never cared much for action-adventure types. So, I didn’t watch it as a single person. J, however, bought the DVD set before he ever met me. Watched it multiple times. At some point before we got married, he suggested we watch it together.
I declined. Reason? I figured it was a guy movie. Which it pretty much is, except for the bits of romance. Except for the fact that I was bawling at the end. For joy, then grief (when Frodo…oh gee, I’d better not say, in case I’m actually not the last person on the planet to see the movie. I’d hate to be accused of being a spoiler).
Really, I’d never read the book and so really didn’t know the story. The most I knew of Tolkien was the late 1970’s animated version of The Hobbit. Which kind of weirded me out, thanks to “Gollum”.
A couple of years ago, B got into listening to audio books. J just so happens to have both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy in audio book form, so B eventually listened to them. Over. And over. And over. (And I heard a good bit of The Lord of the Rings, too, several times being a captive audience of it in the car on our monthly five-hour round trip drive to Whole Foods.)
Then, B began bugging J about watching the movie.
This is the kid who, when he was five or six years old, couldn’t finish watching Disney’s Beauty and the Beast when the men went after the Beast. This is the kid who freaked when the two old men went at it with swords toward the end of Up.
This is my very emotionally sensitive kid. Who wanted to watch a PG-13 movie that was sure to have a lot of violence and gore? No, I told him. Wait until you’re fourteen or fifteen. J was in agreement. He knew the kind of frightening scenes there are in the movies for people who have not been desensitized to violence.
hWhat changed my mind
B continued to ask about the movie every once in a while. Other kids much younger have watched it and survived. It’s based on a classic work of literature, and he already knew all the evil things that were going to happen, as well as how the story ends.
Plus, I got cabin fever. Real bad. Winter weather came in and there was not a whole lot to do.
So, we all decided to watch it, one disc per day for a total of six days. We were through The Two Towers (the second movie, for those of you who live in an even deeper cave than I do) before I really got into it. I don’t know why, but that’s how long it started to take me to connect with the characters.
Well, there you go. Guys like action, so they’ll get into a movie quickly as long as the action starts right away. Women care more about the characters, and it takes us longer to grow the our quasi-relationships with them. Especially when it’s more of an action movie.
But when I got into it, man, I got into it! Although the winter weather disappeared and spring came in its place (the temps rose into the 70’s during the two days of The Return of the King), and I started to think we might better wait for a rainy day to finish, none of us wanted to.
B made it. He got tensed up quite a bit during the first three discs, but after that the fighting didn’t seem to bother him as much.
By the last disc, I was shouting at characters, cheering them on or telling them what to do (yes, this annoyed B. So, let’s call it Mom’s Revenge).
The movie gave me lots of ugly pictures to form in my mind at night when I close my eyes. It rent my heart in two. It had my biting my fingers and sitting on the edge of my rocking chair.
I loved it.
But, it was intense. I may be able to watch it again in, say ten years. Five, if I get bored enough by then. In the meantime, I gleaned several lessons from the movies, which I will discuss in upcoming not-too-distant-future posts.