I have just arrived back from the cinema but there is nothing you can say about it that will do it justice. You have to experience it. It starts slowly, as it should and if there are those who cannot take it, let the blame rest upon our contemporary incapacity to retain attention and to seek for instant and fleeing satisfaction. Peter Jackson plays the long game, he takes you into the Shire and makes you experience it as home so you can really feel what it means for Bilbo to make the radical and outrageous decision – from a hobbit point of view – of leaving home and ‘going in an adventure’.
I confess I was a bit apprehensive regarding Martin Freeman’s taking the role so well-played by Sir Ian Holm but he fully delivers. In fact, he is just brilliant and you can see that he has done his homework on Holm’s performance. The Dwarves have little resemblance with colourful Tolkien’s description but gained a more mature, road-hardened and credible look. Thorin Oakenshield looks particularly striking, which is not a surprise since Richard Armitage took the role.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a joy and a Christmas gift for Tolkien’s fans and the good news is that this is just the beginning of the three-year journey. Thanks Peter Jackson; thanks to everyone in this film – you have done an amazing job.