Saturday, January 10, 2004
when homoeroticism is no fun
return of the king should've been the crowning glory of the lord of the rings trilogy. it should've been magnificent, gripping, romp of an adventure. it should've seemlessly tied up the wondrous story-line written by a european dead white male. it was all those and more. but its the more that pissed me off goddamit. oh boy does peter jackson know how to ruin a movie.
the latent homoerotic undertones (maybe i should say overtones) stuck out like a sore thumb it made me (and quite a number of other viewers) roll my eyes and snicker every so often. it broke the "spell" cast by the trilogy that i've been so eager to believe. the magic, the quest of vanquishing evil forces through a 'fellowship' of beings.
fellowship delivered a promise, most of which have been fulfilled by the sequels. i thought it was an amazing premise that a littleman would be given the task of saving the world. the idea is a powerful one. the idea of power corrupting absolutely is a reflection of the human condition. the film was most effective in showing this most of all. how seductive, how easily humans are prey to our own dark desires. these little nuggets made enough of a believer in me to eagerly follow the next two installments of the trilogy. i loved two towers.
it didn't matter that all the good characters in the film were blindingly caucasian and that the evil forces were simplistically dark. it didn't matter that in two towers the bad guys with the giant elephants (i forget the name) looked
suspiciously arab (december 2002 was the height of the US bid to invade iraq). it didn't matter that only one female character kicked ass (and fuckit she didnt get the man--why can't women kick ass and get the man too???) it sort of didn't matter that midway through two towers the homoerotic ventures of sam and frodo began.
but really, the long gazes, all the touchy-feely moments, the uber-corny lines between frodo-sam and merry-pippin in rotk was the last straw. i should've left the moviehouse in awe, like the first two times. i should've raved about the values the movie taught. i should've left satisfied. i was not. the overlong ending spoiled it. surprisingly this time, man-on-man action was no fun.