After many months I finally got around the other day to reading the most recent copy of Mallorn, the Journal of the Tolkien Society. In it was a review of this online movie, The Hunt for Gollum. As I am always hoping to find something which approaches the written Tolkien on the screen (I am a lover of films) I thought I would give it a whirl. Alas! it is sadly based more on Jackson than Tolkien. Now, to me, there are two versions of The Lord of the Rings: one is the real one, that of Tolkien (taken up so admirably by the BBC radio play), and then there is the one for the emo-pop-music-loving, world-of-warcraft-playing teen, written (with the aid of Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) by Peter Jackson and starring his ego. Sadly, the dialogue (some of which includes the odd Tolkien or Tolkienesque turn of phrase) is largely of the Jackson type, and the characters’ appearances and personalities are also entirely in the Jackson style. Even the music contains distinct phrases from Howard Shore’s film score (again, an admirable achievement in itself, but unfortunately to my mind not of a piece with Tolkien’s work). It is unfortunate that these talented filmakers have chosen the second Lord of the Rings as their model is very unfortunate, because the film itself isn’t half bad, especially considering the miniscule budget (£3000, about $5500). And more than that, those involved possess considerable creative and technical skills, if their aesthetic ones remain underdeveloped.
At any rate, for those interested, the film may be viewed at thehuntforgollum.com.