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Old 12-16-2003, 12:54 PM   #1
Estelyn Telcontar
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Silmaril **RotK - Denethor (John Noble)**

What did you think of Denethor and the actor's portrayal of him?
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Old 12-17-2003, 01:44 PM   #2
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Good and bad. His treatment of Pippin was pretty much spot on. The worst part about Denethor was actually the parts where Gandalf hit him with his staff. What was going on with that?<P>Overall bad. He played off of Faramir well. Didn't like his death scene though. Not dramatic at all, came off a bit ridiculous. So John Noble was good. The writing very bad.<P>[ 2:45 PM December 17, 2003: Message edited by: Eomer of the Rohirrim ]<p>[ 5:05 PM December 20, 2003: Message edited by: Eomer of the Rohirrim ]
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Old 12-17-2003, 05:30 PM   #3
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There was not enough of him. Not enough by half.<BR>But what there was of him was brilliant. Especially the scene where Pippin swears fealty. His smile is so comforting.<BR>The Faramir scenes were not enough, and too blunt.<BR>His death was much more intriguing than in the book. Wasn't too sure about Gandalf's involvement, with all the poking and stoking. Bit weird, but very good.<BR>Especially the part where Gandalf bonked him on the head with his staff. Although it was verging on the ridiculous, it was rather more dignified than I had read in previous reviews.<P>John Noble gets full marks and more. And a cookie for being such a good egg.
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Old 12-17-2003, 05:52 PM   #4
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John Noble played Denethor well -- well enough I wanted to throttle him when he told Faramir he wishes he had died instead of Boromir - Yes I am paraphrasing there!<P>I am sorry, Denethor fans, but I quite enjoyed seeing Gandalf belt Denethor good with his staff!
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Old 12-17-2003, 08:36 PM   #5
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This performance was perfect. I'm not sure what was with all the disgusting table habits scenes, but somehow they fit his character. The level of dislike I felt for him was exactly as it was when I read the book.
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Old 12-17-2003, 09:55 PM   #6
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The problem was that once Denethor got belted with Gandalf's staff everyone just cracked up laughing. I thought that the worst part of Denethor was his death scene. It came off like Gandalf threw him back onto the pyre, really ! In fact, that's what people were saying when they were leaving the theater, "I'm glad Gandalf pushed that guy back onto the fire, he deserved to burn anyway." What's up with that!? The scene didn't go well, & it should've been closer to the book there.
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Old 12-17-2003, 11:54 PM   #7
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What about the whole running off the side of the building/city/tower/thing scene? Didn't anyone think that it was a tad bit overdramatic. Other than that I thought that it was a wonderful performance. He was so mean, I felt so sorry for Faramir because what was happening to him was terrible. Oh and the scene where he is eating, and just stuffing his face... that was brilliant.
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Old 12-18-2003, 12:09 AM   #8
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I pretty much did not care for the choices made by John Noble in his portrayal of Denethor. I thought the table manners scene was just bad taste. I never pictured the Steward of Gondor chompin' away on his supper like an Orc.<P>Funny thing is; I kinda liked Denethor's flamin' half-gainer off the Embrasure. What an exit!
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Old 12-18-2003, 02:18 AM   #9
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I thought John Noble's portrayal and the writing was a bit over the top, but I always hated this character anyway so I didn't mind. The hatred for him in the audience was palpable. A guy sitting next to me called him a "d--k" under his breath when he was so mean to Faramir. And that's basically all he is in the movie. He does make you want to hug Faramir... okay, I wanted to anyway. *sniffle* Faramir looked so, so sad. I don't care about whatever jerkiness Faramir pulled in TTT, you don't make him look that sad and get any sympathy from me. Hmph.<P>It goes really well with that one scene they shouldn't have cut from TTT....
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Old 12-18-2003, 04:09 AM   #10
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Yeah, much mirth was had at Denethor's expense in the boorish audience I was unfortunately a part of. I think the character came off amazingly well - I was positively afraid of the old loon! All that power and pride gone so terribly wrong. Wow. I especially liked the bit right before Gandalf knocks him out when he's telling his men to despair - did they amplify his voice there, or is he just operatic like that? I wanted to hear more voices like that from the great folk in the movie... anyhow, Bravo on Denethor!
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Old 12-18-2003, 11:25 AM   #11
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I was actually quite impressed by Denethor. He had the same sort of deep-seated inner power and inner darkness I've read in Conrad's Heart of Darkness. John Noble would have made a superb Kurtz! The scenes in which Gandalf has to belt him seem to follow from the "he needed that" train of thought, and yes, the audience cracked up here too! I didn't think of it so much as Gandalf pushing Denethor back onto the pyre as Gandalf defending himself, Pippin and the others from a mad, raging man who had lost the capacity to reason and therefore had to be dealt with as harshly as was necessary to save others. I still missed the palantir resonance with Pippin's experience though, and the image of the two withered hands burning forever in the Palantir of Minas Tirith...<P>Cheers!<BR>Lyta
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Old 12-18-2003, 12:07 PM   #12
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I think the Palantir is in the EE.<P>I thought he was good. I only cringed when Gandalf knocked him back on to the prye. Id rather him run out and jump off the tower like he did than watch him burn to death but thats just in my taste and may have pushed it into an R rating and PJ may have had to do that.
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Old 12-18-2003, 02:30 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>What about the whole running off the side of the building/city/tower/thing scene? Didn't anyone think that it was a tad bit overdramatic.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Very. It was another 'this would look cool' moment.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Id rather him run out and jump off the tower like he did than watch him burn to death but thats just in my taste and may have pushed it into an R rating and PJ may have had to do that.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Although I'm admitedtly not sure if it'd had pushed it to an 'R' or not, I really would doubt it. Especially if PJ did it right. I would mainly prefer the burning scene because it would prove to me that PJ can let a chance at some major dramatizim & a cool looking scene go. Obviously he couldn't there . And his character just disappeared, like nobody mourned or anything, it was ridiculous how minor they made his death seem.
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Old 12-18-2003, 02:38 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>I thought the table manners scene was just bad taste. I never pictured the Steward of Gondor chompin' away on his supper like an Orc. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I do not blame John Noble for giving us a wretched [in several senses of the word] 'Denethor', PJ appoved the script and directed it and gets full 'credit' for the absurd and degrading re-characterization of 'Denethor'. <P>Every scene with 'Denethor' was pretty much a wash out imo.<P>Which is quite sad as he is one of the most complex characters inthe book.<P>One minute jousting mentally and verbally with Gandalf, another letting him into council meetings. Touched by Pippins offer and responding to it genuinely, all traces of wisdom and compassion are gone from the movie 'Denethor'. In short he was simplified into a miserable, gluttonous, fool. Pathetic.<p>[ 10:42 AM December 19, 2003: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 12-18-2003, 02:47 PM   #15
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Lindil, I agree with you completely. I was absolutely disgusted with Jackson's Denethor. The man was incredibly complex in the book, yet just as unlikeable. Why give him bad table manners? Why have Gandalf strike him? That was absolutely out-of-character for Gandalf. Why not just play up the bad father-good son tension and leave it at that?<P>Hated Denethor, just hated what they did to him.
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Old 12-18-2003, 02:59 PM   #16
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I just have to laugh at you guys. If its not Faramir its Denethor.
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Old 12-18-2003, 05:01 PM   #17
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John Noble was a great actor and Denethor, well, I'm just going to say he was not my favorite character in the movie. I didn't expect him to be but I also didn't expect to start to loathe him! I couldn't stand the guy (no offense Denethor fans!). I think his jumping off the city/building was a bit dramatic. I thought as soon as he was "pushed" back onto the pyre that he'd stay and burn but nooooo, they just had to make him jump. The whole time he was running I'm thinking "Stop, drop and roll! Stop, drop and roll!"<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> I am sorry, Denethor fans, but I quite enjoyed seeing Gandalf belt Denethor good with his staff! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>You're not alone! I had already began to dislike him and as soon as he called for wood and such (Yes I've read the books, I understand, I know) I wanted to hit him myself! Then! What to my surprise but he gets hit in the stomach and face and there's Gandalf! The whole audience cheered and whooped - myself included.
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Old 12-18-2003, 08:47 PM   #18
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I'm with lindil and Bee. The Denethor character was really more of a parody than a real person. ("Look! Even the way he EATS is EVIL!") His only purpose was to be wretched and despised. Of the house of the Stewards, Faramir is no longer the one with the most twisted adaptation.<P>I hope the EE gives Denethor more depth and dignity than he was accorded in the theatrical version. <P>It really did seem like Gandalf was trying to off Denethor. That was twisted.<P>-Lily
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Old 12-18-2003, 10:13 PM   #19
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>I just have to laugh at you guys. If its not Faramir its Denethor.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>But the complaints are not unfounded.
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Old 12-18-2003, 10:36 PM   #20
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I didn't care for this portrayal at all. The most notable problem, I think, is the complete lack of the Palantir. Wasn't the Palantir (or rather Sauron's control of it) the source of his madness, his despair? So, where was it? Without it, he's just another mean, crazy old man.<P>Then there is also the eating scene. This man 'in whom the blood of Numenor runs nearly true' as Gandalf says, this Steward of Gondor, born and raised with all the courtesy befitting a high office in the most prominent kingdom of men in all Middle Earth consumed his meal like a trailer-trash drunk at a county fair pie-eating contest. I half expected him to pass wind in the middle of Pippin's beautiful song.<P>Granted, these changes made it easier to believe that Gandalf could bludgeon Denethor with his staff in front of the soldiers of Gondor and not only not be challenged, but be obeyed when he barks out an order.<P>All in all, I'd have to agree with Meela (though probably for different reasons). Not Enough Denethor! What I mean is that I needed to see a scene with the palantir. I needed some reason for him to be as crazy as he was.
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Old 12-19-2003, 01:51 AM   #21
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*Puts on horns* Not to play the devil's advocate, but perhaps Denethor was portrayed as being so irrecoverably messed up to heighten the "Doom is nigh" feel of the Pelennor fields sequence? To that end, movie Denethor is marvelous.<P>But I agree, book Denethor was hardly ever found in the movie, and the character is unforgivably one-sided compared to our expectations of an incredibly complex character. A disaster indeed!<P>Still, movie-thor does serve his purpose (and as a little horse myself, I quite appreciated Shadowfax's well-placed hoof!)
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Old 12-19-2003, 06:43 AM   #22
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>...a mad, raging man who had lost the capacity to reason and therefore had to be dealt with as harshly as was necessary to save others. I still missed the palantir resonance with Pippin's experience though, and the image of the two withered hands burning forever in the Palantir of Minas Tirith...[ <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>I think Lyta's quotes above explains why he is believable in the books, but not so much in the movie. He was driven to madness by Sauron via the Palantir. If we have the palantir in the EE, then all will be fine.<P>Now I've read the books umpteen times, but I do not get any levels of complexity from Denethor in the books that some people state above. To me, in the book, he was technically mad, but still able to hold some semblance of sanity at times. I think this comes across exactly the same in the film. We see his repentance to his son as in the book, but also, Jackson has added to his character by showing Denthor's final look at Faramir when he REALISES HE'S NOT DEAD. Then he runs off in flames. Why not - you can read this as a figure trying to put out the fire, perhaps looking for water and just running madly around, and finally falling off the ledge. <P>PS Superb acting by John Noble in rotk, also in the TT EE DVD.<p>[ 7:46 AM December 19, 2003: Message edited by: Essex ]
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Old 12-19-2003, 10:05 AM   #23
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'I just have to laugh at you guys.'<BR>Go right ahead grey istar. But is there a point you want to make? Or do you just want a public record to be made of ridiculing others opinions without contributing meaningfully?<P>Essex just posted: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> I do not get any levels of complexity from Denethor in the books that some people state above.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I think much of his complexity is from the Palantir of course but also what after a read or two we can guess some of what was going on in his mind.<P>* His knowledge of Thorongil as probable Heir of Isildur from an early age. <P>*Being burned by Saruman a seeming ally turned enemy of his only substantial allied army.<P>*A justifiable concern that his country could be distracted/divided from/during War by a claimant to the throne, and that the said claimant may be as well suited to ruling Gondor as the heirs of Arnor werre successful in maintaing their realm [always seemingly a sore point with Gondor]!<P>*Denthor knew I think that there was some sort of Alliance between The Northern remnants of the Dunedain and of Lorien and Rivendell but [I think we may assume] he had always been excluded. <P>*He may well also have felt that if the 'northern alliance' was fooled by Saruman for who knows how long then who knows what other traitors and ambitions lurked amongst them.<P>*His not quite knowing who Gandalf is and how he fits into the scheme [though Gandalf comes as close to telling him he is a Maia as he thinks he should with, 'Do you not know that I too am a steward'?]. <P>*Denethor despite serious and in some ways justifiable concerns[listed above] allowed Gandalf to stay in the upper levels and even took [no pun intended] what may well have been otherwise seen as a postential 'spy' [pippin] into his service, to hear every word spoken in front of Denethor.<P>I call all that complex myself.<P>Also added the few times when Denethor's humanity peep through [accepting Pippin, the repentance towards his son].<P>The fact that all of this was replaced by the ill-mannered, one-sided Palantir-less 'Denethor' was a real shame to me. And for me highlights the tragedy of the movies [though I am not saying it outweighs all 'benefits] - that they take Tolkien's 4 dimensional world full of politics, long suffering love, mixed allegiances and fragile alliances, etc, and reduce it to what PJ thinks an 'avg' moviegoer can handle.<P>Instead of trusting that the watcher can deal with a few unexplained references [and heck might even want to read the book to have them explained!] all must be self-contained.<P>Anyway hope some of the above might explain a little of what some might see as Denethor's 'complexity'.
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Old 12-19-2003, 10:49 AM   #24
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>The Denethor character was really more of a parody than a real person. ("Look! Even the way he EATS is EVIL!") <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> I suppose I really <I>expected</I> Denethor to be treated this way. The thing I got out of the smacking, tomato-popping comestible scene was centered on Pippin though. "Its a hard trial for a hobbit, that--to look on hungry while others eat..." <P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>The most notable problem, I think, is the complete lack of the Palantir. Wasn't the Palantir (or rather Sauron's control of it) the source of his madness, his despair? So, where was it?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I do agree that this is an essential missing element that I just "filled in" automatically when I heard all the knowledge that Gandalf had urged Pippin to keep silent about fall from Denethor's lips. He indeed had "far sight" in the movie, but we are never told where he gains this knowledge and what besets him beyond his despair for Boromir. <P>I suppose I am shutting out the consideration of Gandalf's treatment of Denethor (and Pippin at the beginning of the Minas Tirith scenes too!), but I believe this must be an adjustment based on the changes to Denethor. I do agree he is "cartooned up" though! I can only hold out hope for a glimpse of flickering light in Denethor's chamber in the EE, but I do understand how these subtleties are necessarily lost in a movie adaptation. The fact that Denethor's character in the books is with me upon seeing the movies probably fills in what we are not shown and I assume the complexity behind the cartoonish figure presented.<P>Cheers,<BR>Lyta<p>[ 11:52 AM December 19, 2003: Message edited by: Lyta_Underhill ]
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Old 12-19-2003, 03:52 PM   #25
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Denethor is one of the more subtle characters in the whole book, and these films just do not 'do' subtle.<P>I fully expected the film version of Denethor to be a disaster, and I think it was. Definite similarities to the Faramir situation in <I>The Two Towers</I>, however, I actually feel that Denethor was done worse.<P>Much like Wenham, I really don't think that Noble can be faulted that much. The characters suffer because the films are not character-based, they are action and ZOMBIE-based.<P><B>GreyIstar</B>, please explain that little outburst. I would appreciate your thoughts on how Denethor turned out.
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Old 12-20-2003, 04:35 AM   #26
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After seeing the movie again, I absolutely HATE what was done to Denethor. <P>'Course, to get all the character development needed for D would have taken far too much time... But I still hate what they did!<P>*raises tail in PJ's direction*
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Old 12-20-2003, 03:25 PM   #27
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i LOVED John Noble's performance and i think he is an immensely talented actor, but i didn't really like where they went with Denethor.<P>His human fireball trick was ridiculous.
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Old 12-20-2003, 04:03 PM   #28
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John Noble was, to my mind, the perfect Denethor, although, as Meela said, his feelings towards Faramir were too bluntly conveyed. Furthermore, he came off as entirely villainous and insane, whereas in the book the <I>palantir</I> made him seem slightly more of a victim. I hope the <I>palantir</I> plays a more prominent role in the Extended Edition.<P>I personally enjoyed Gandalf's whomping of Denethor, as well as Denethor's fiery exit.
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Old 12-21-2003, 01:01 PM   #29
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Movie-Denethor is very similar to movie-Faramir (in the theatrical TTT) in some ways. That is, he acts in a callous and ultimately self-destructive manner for what appears to be no purpose whatsoever. Movie-Faramir was redeemed quite a bit by his flashback scene in the EE, so I'm reeeeaally hoping that Denethor gets the same treatment later on. When you think about it, just adding the Palantir at the end would really alter a lot of the scenes that we've already seen - it would cast a sort of backwards shadow - "Wow, no wonder he lost it so badly. Sauron was showing him A, B and C." It's the same way that in TTT, Faramir's lines about "a mighty gift" and so forth were rendered much deeper and bitterer just by our having seen the flashback where his father uses those exact words.<P>I seem to be the only one who didn't think that Denethor's eating scene was that bad . The way I saw it at the time was that it served a couple of purposes; first showing how cold and abstracted he is at the same moment his only remaining son is riding to pretty much certain death (nobody who's nervous could put away that kind of food), and second to give Pippin a chance to actually do his duties and get to talk to Denethor for a few minutes before the end. What made it seem so sick was, I think, the closeups - nobody looks good when they're eating, and he really wasn't any worse than anyone else we've seen eat in the movies. For someone living in a medieval-like place, he was pretty good. As for the closeups, I can only hypothesize that they were there partly to show that Pippin is hungry (that was the impression that I got) and to show what exactly how much he's getting through at the same moment that Faramir etc etc etc. OK, I did wonder about the juice on the chin a little bit . The fact that it's red - coincidence? Surely not! That was a little heavyhanded. But otherwise it seemed OK.
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Old 12-21-2003, 03:16 PM   #30
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i thought the food scene was good, especially intercut with Faramir's ride to Osgiliath. It showed Denethor's indifference to his son's fate and the fact that he had no qualms about sending him off to die.
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Old 12-21-2003, 04:08 PM   #31
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> I just have to laugh at you guys. If its not Faramir its Denethor. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Right, well thanks for that insightful post then. Well worth the space it takes up. <P>John Noble is a far better actor than I had realised. I would definitely pay the admission to go and see him in any similar dramatic role, maybe some Shakespeare, he'd be great! <P>While I really don't appreciate the dumbing-down of Denethor from the book, I think that the new character of movieDenethor worked very well. He is much more one-dimensional than in the book, but I actually did believe in the role he had to play. Faramir in my opinion is a much weaker character, not helped along at all by Wenham's sub-par performance. John Noble and Karl Urban made the most out of what malnourishing fare the scriptwriters fed them, but Wenham just seemed to take a dive. I'm sure I would have done the same thing after seeing the changes (for the worse) that had been made, and so I really applaud Noble and Urban for the jobs they did.<P>I'm much more disappointed with the Men of Gondor than with the Steward. Pippin has to risk life and limb climbing up to the beacon, because the guards would never let a Knight of the Citadel with orders from Lord Mithrandir through to help them win the war. But quite naturally they'll just stand there gawping while Gandalf beats the ##$# out of the man that has been their ruler for the past forty years or whatever.<P>The eating scene was very well done, and a superb (and clever) way to show the horrible indifference of the man to the death of his son and his soldiers. It reminded me of a line from Pink Floyd:<P><I>and the Generals gave thanks</I><BR><I>as the other ranks</I><BR><I>held back the enemy tanks</I><BR><I>for a while</I><P>and fitted in well with the image of the ruler up in his tower, callously maneuvering his pawns. This had precedent in the book, too, when Denethor points out that both he and Sauron choose to use others to do their dirty work. Noble's delivery of the "yes, I do wish that" line was a phenomenal piece of acting. It would have been very easy to make that line cheesy and unbelievable. Chances are he didn't need 28 takes to get it right, unlike every time Viggo has a line.
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Old 12-21-2003, 09:54 PM   #32
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Every scene with 'Denethor' was pretty much a wash out imo.<P>Which is quite sad as he is one of the most complex characters inthe book.<BR> <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I have a lot of sympathy with that view, lindil. Denethor in the book is undoubtedly a very complex character. A noble and learned Steward of Gondor laid low by despair, his loss of hope exascerbated, provoked even, by his use of the Palantir.<P>But there was never going to be enough time in any film, let alone this film, to lay the groundwork to bring out the nobility of Denethor's character and make it work on screen. And so (as I expected) he was reduced to a boorish and incompetent villain. <P>Personally, however, I think that this characterisation works well in the film. It enhances the despair that we are compelled to feel for Minas Tirith as Sauron's troops approach. It enables those who have not seen the TTT EE to feel sympathy for Faramir and understand why he brought Frodo and Sam so close to Minas Tirith before letting them go, and also give further insight into Boromir's reasons for making a play for the Ring. And it gives Gandalf the opportunity to take centre stage in the Seige of Minas Tirith (without the lengthy scenes of dialogue that this would otherwise entail).<P>I didn't feel that, in the context of the film, Denethor's Palantir was necessary. The hopeless situation faced, together with the loss of his favoured son and the near loss of his remaining son, were sufficient, for me, to make this Denethor's actions believable.<P>I didn't really have a problem with Gandalf thumping Denethor. It was a good "movie" moment, and elicited a suitable reaction from the audience where I was (myself included).<P>My only real gripe with Denethor's characterisation in the film is with his death scene. Quite apart from any issue as to whether Gandalf pushed him onto the pyre, I didn't like the way in which Denethor appeared to have a change of heart and not want to kill himself after all. In the book, the dignified (albeit misguided) way in which he conducts himself in his final moments stands out. And I feel that this would have worked with this characterisation of Denethor too. I would much have preferred to have seen him accepting his fate, rather than him having second thoughts and blundering off in flames, inevitably toppling over the precipice. Heck, the shot of him falling didn't even look that good in the end.
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Old 12-21-2003, 10:13 PM   #33
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>When you think about it, just adding the Palantir at the end would really alter a lot of the scenes that we've already seen - it would cast a sort of backwards shadow - "Wow, no wonder he lost it so badly. Sauron was showing him A, B and C." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I agree with this wholeheartedly! There is the indirect suggestion that Denethor already knows a whole lot before he is told, and so I hope this means there is a (perhaps implied) palantir to be had in later cuts. I thought the whole palantir business with Pippin was steered oddly and could have had more resonance than it did and definitely would have had Denethor also used one--now that we know what it does to the uninitiated. Did my eyes fail me, or did Gandalf ride off to Minas Tirith with the palantir of Orthanc in his hands? We do not see Aragorn using this palantir to challenge Sauron (which I also would have liked to see) and an alternate explanation is given (Sauron already knows the Heir of Isildur lives). It seems the whole palantir network significance is lost or erased from the final product, and this makes Pippin's experience sort of hang in mid-air. But this is inevitable in a movie adaptation of such a complex and well-woven book. <P>I will maintain that John Noble's performance blew me away, even as a cartoon villain. He had natural presence and power; that came through, as well as the gravity of his despair. But, like I said before, I always tend to project facets from the book characters onto the thinner counterparts onscreen. <B>Saucepan Man</B>, you do make a good point about the lack of dignity to Denethor's end, however. I had not thought of it that way and it does leave some doubt as to what went through his mind at the very end.<P>Cheers!<BR>Lyta
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Old 12-23-2003, 05:14 PM   #34
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR><B><I>Meela:</I></B> Bit weird, but very good. Especially the part where Gandalf bonked him on the head with his staff. Although it was verging on the ridiculous, it was rather more dignified than I had read in previous reviews.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>So the reviews you read had this scene over toward the Monty Python end of the spectrum, and you thought it was merely ridiculous, say in the Saturday Night Live or MTV range of the spectrum?<P><I>Tolkien, anyone?</I>
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Old 12-23-2003, 06:06 PM   #35
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Obviously the palantir was a major piece of the Denethor puzzle that really would have helped. I'm assuming it was filmed but editted out. Hopefully we'll see it in the extended edition.<P>I thought Noble's performance was great, my favourite moment being when Pippin was stumbling through the lines of his oath and Denethor was smiling down on him in a grandfatherly way. Just a slight hint that there is more to this guy than just a crazy villian. I thought his sense of dispair came across well, just not what was the root source of it.<P>The pyre scene was a little wierd, but then I was never quite comfortable with the visual image of Gandalf closing the door while Denethor burnt away. I think it would be tough not to have the audience think that Gandalf couldn't have done something to safe the old buzzard. Having him run off seems to solve this problem.<P>Still think it likely could have been done better though.<P>H.C.
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Old 12-24-2003, 05:51 AM   #36
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> So the reviews you read had this scene over toward the Monty Python end of the spectrum, and you thought it was merely ridiculous, say in the Saturday Night Live or MTV range of the spectrum? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Um... no. I don't know. I'll get back to you... it took me at least five minutes to even work out what you were asking me, so give me a few days to explain myself. <P>Or just not care, as I do...
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:34 AM   #37
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I think Denethor was very well done. He was really bitter and so mean to Faramir. The running off to fall was over the top (no pun intended) though.
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Old 12-25-2003, 05:36 PM   #38
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Denethor was fine except for two things.<P>One was the bonking he received from Gandalf. I think the rediculousness of that little scene has been adequately examined at this point.<P>The other was the almost comical nature of his death. I think PJ just wanted an excuse to light a guy on fire and throw him off a really high place. Plus, what the heck is up with Gandalf's "So passes Denethor, Son of Ecthelion", delivered in such away that he actually appears eager for the guy to be dead?
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Old 12-26-2003, 03:01 AM   #39
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Denethor is as complex in the films as in the books, and is by no means a cartoon villain. A cartoon villain is evil for evil's sake. Movie-Denethor has had the compassion sucked out of him by the long fight he has endured. He looks out the window every morning and sees Mt Doom. His way of dealing with his failures is to shoulder the responsibility onto his sons. Yet he sees the value of Pippin's pledge and eventually the value of his younger son.<P>I don't think the palantir is needed to explain his madness. Mordor oozes into Gondor - everyone can feel it. Denethor's susceptibility to Sauron's evil is no less than Boromir's, or anyone else's, and it serves as a reminder of Faramir's integrity, the integrity he almost lost in TTT.
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Old 12-26-2003, 09:43 PM   #40
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I liked Denethor, beginning to understand Meela! He was very well portrayed by John Noble. His Faramir scenes were very well portrayed, could have been a bit longer, but not much. I loved his reaction to Pippin, it was great to see a softer side to him. <P>The pyre scene was horrendous. Having this flaming dude running off the cliff and falling was just a tad to melodramatic. And I greatly miss the palantir connection.
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