The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Nishat Mohinuddin ’16 

“If this is to end in fire, then we all burn together.”

The idea of being together regardless of hardships is a critical theme in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. This second installation of the Hobbit trilogy revolves around the tale of Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, and the thirteen dwarves who take on a journey to reclaim their kingdom, Erebor, from a slithering dragon, Smaug. The movie did quite an amazing job of relaying the great heroism displayed by many of the characters and creatures, and this helped characterize their distinctive personalities. Their journey is about uniting to fight evil, and eventually becoming heroes together.

Heroism in the movie was especially shown in Bilbo’s character, as he progressed from a timid, cowardly hobbit to a hero possessing inner strength and courage. Bilbo gains his audience’s attention and their adornment in scenes when he slays multiple spiders (thus rescuing the dwarves captured by the elves). Later, he speaks to the ever-powerful Smaug, and has to survive an exciting chase. In these moments, Bilbo uses a ring he found that gives him the ability to become invisible. Making a smart choice of using the weapons he has, Bilbo’s small act of sliding the ring on his finger and defending himself and saving his friends is what brands him the hero of the movie.

Besides Bilbo, the new character, Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly, also reveals heroism. Being a female did not reveal any form of weakness or fear in Tauriel’s character, despite the constant presence of the atrocious beasts in her surroundings. This was evident in one of scenes in which she leaves the kingdom by herself so she can attack the trolls, or ogres, on her own. Another moment when Tauriel is not exactly a heroine, but instead receives the audience’s admiration is when she allows Legolas, played by our favorite — Orlando Bloom — to fight by himself while she stays with her sick dwarf-admirer, Kili, and cares for him.  In this moment, Kili, in quite a corny manner, says, “You cannot be her. She is far way. She… she is far, far away from me. She walks in starlight in another world.” To make the moment even cornier, we get the first glimpse of actual light throughout the movie when white light is shone upon Tauriel and she looks at the dwarf sincerely. This moment was supposed to be one of love, but was corny enough to gain a laugh from the audience.  As a female watching this film, I can honestly admit that Legolas with his golden locks brought a sigh from the female audience, most of whom missed him in his mane of glory since his Lord of the Rings days. 

The film presented various races including elves, dwarfs, and trolls/ogres. These different races played a role in how they acted physically and morally. The dwarfs, despite being short, seemed to forget they were vertically challenged when they were in the midst of defending and saving themselves from other brutal creatures. The elves seemed to be pretty violent, but when they were compared with the trolls, they seemed to be good. The elves never began a fight, but instead participated in ones that were started by the other races. Quite to the contrary, the trolls exhibited a deep thirst for violence throughout most of the movie, and thus began attacks quite often. They were presented as the bad race that could not agree on anything.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was an excellent movie; however, there were things that were irritating. First, the movie was ridiculously long (about 2 ½ hours), and it could have been condensed. There were moments when I was full of boredom and dozed off, but the significant amount of action scenes and the sound effects did a great job of waking me up. The movie would have also been more appreciated if there wasn’t such a lack of colors. It is understandable that the darkness of the movie helps the effects of the attacks and the eerie nature of journey, but some form of color, at least a sun, would have been much appreciated.

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