Saturday, December 20, 2014

The End to All Things ... is a Beginning

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield
in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"

Anticipation and dread.

That pretty much sums up what I have been all about this year. And in the back of my mind was the looming finale to "The Hobbit," this one titled "The Battle of the Five Armies."

Given my year (if you look back, my last post was 11 months ago) and its one medical crisis after another, I would look with dread to year's end and the premiere of the last Tolkien movies by Peter Jackson. Why? A very simple thing, really: The movies and all of the hoopla around them have been a ray of light in these past couple of years, which have been rather difficult for me on just about every level you can imagine.

Strangely enough, though, I began to look forward to the final movie. So when I found myself at the theater Friday afternoon, I was strangely calm. And armed with more than a dozen tissues.

As a veteran of viewing Jackson's five previous Tolkien movies, I thought I was ready for BOTFA.

Hardly.

Maybe it's the year I have had, maybe it's my admiration of the actor who plays Thorin, and maybe it is just life, but I was not expecting what I saw.

Despite the implied scale of a battle with five armies, it could not have been more personal with most of the characters. There is an intimacy in this movie that shook me, which made it all the more powerful.

The simple truth is that any battle is fought at the personal level. It is that one individual against whatever comes at them, be it orc or human. That eagle's-eye view, while epic, can show scale but completely misses that each of the dots on the landscape represent a being — good or bad — who is experiencing it on a strictly personal level.

Tolkien gave us that with his Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, small of stature but big of heart. And Jackson gives it to us in the faces of his actors and their crystal-clear emotions full of pain, horror and loss. But there was also love, a great deal of it.

I wept silently for the last hour, at least. In my heart, it was a combination of this amazing journey I have been on, courtesy of this movie and the people surrounding it, both fans and the cast and crew. I have a network of dear souls who support me from afar, giving me little bursts of light in some very dark days. Every once in a while, a dwarf will answer a tweet, which is dreadfully sweet. But it is the daily tweets of smiles and sillies and hugs that keep me going, even through horrific moments.

Especially through horrific moments.

Endings are beginnings, though. And that is more of what I have been feeling. I plan to see the movie again, as many times as I can manage on the silver screen. But I am ready to move ahead.

I will hold close, however, all those who will allow it once the hoopla is over. These past two years have changed me, and I can only hope for the better. I will always try to be supportive of the dear souls around the world who have connected with me, all because of my admiration of that certain actor, Richard Armitage, and my love of Peter Jackson's work with Tolkien's stories.

Oddly enough, late on Friday night (early Saturday morning, if we are splitting hairs) a strange thing happened: I had been searching for a song to inspire me and it came with another ending, that of Craig Ferguson finishing his stint on "The Late, Late Show."

I have a great affection for Craig, who is a genius entertainer, a combination of silly and smart that never failed to make me smile. His was the lone show I tuned in to during my mother's hospitalization and near death. It was purely to escape reality, even if for just 10 minutes.

Craig's choice of song to end his run points to all the reasons I liked him from the moment he tried out as guest host: It was honest and powerful.

Here you go, by Dead Man Fall, it's "Bang Your Drum."



And the lyrics:

I've been thinking
about the things that
are stuck inside my head
and I can't get them out 

 
and I 've been waking
at four in the morning
I don't know why
I can't get back to sleep again tonight 

 
Keep banging on
Banging on your drum
Keep banging on
And your day will come
Keep banging on
Banging on your drum
and they will hear ya

 
I am wishing
that I was making
a list of all of the good things
that I've ever done with my life 

 
and everybody
says I have wasted
wasted every chance
I ever had to be somebody 

 
Keep banging on
Banging on your drum
Keep banging on
And your day will come
Keep banging on
Banging on your drum
and they will hear ya

 
No one lives forever
There's business here I've got to finish
You won't make your mind up
You won't make your mind up for me

 
No one lives forever
There's business here you've got to finish
You won't make your mind up
You won't make your mind up for me 

 
Hang out of  your window
Shout it down to the people below
Everyone will hear you
They are going to hear you 

 
Keep banging on
Banging on your drum
Keep banging on
And your day will come
Keep banging on
Banging on your drum
and they will hear ya

 
Woooh oh oh wooh oh
Woooh oh wooh oh oh
Woooh oh oh wooh oh
Woooh oh wooh oh oh 

 
Keep banging on
Banging on your drum
Keep banging on
And your day will come
Keep banging on
Banging on your drum
and they will hear ya

 
Keep banging on
Banging on your drum
Keep banging on
And your day will come
Keep banging on
Banging on your drum
and they will hear you


 



4 comments:

crapitycrap said...

I've tried to articulate my thoughts about this film & what it means, but I haven't found the words yet. This is a beautiful post Janine & thank you for sharing it. I'm so thankful you're one of the people that I crossed paths with on this journey. You've become a cherished friend to me and I love you very much. xx

zaniam said...

Simply beautiful, simply perfect.
*smile* *hug*

Servetus said...

I was so glad to see this review, and that you're still on this Hobbit journey. I also found myself thinking of the deaths of so many things and people while watching this film. It really unleashes a lot in the viewer.

Janine Pineo said...

Thank you for the very kind words. xo