K̶i̶l̶i̶ ̶&̶ ̶T̶a̶u̶r̶i̶e̶l̶ ̶
Despite my conceit that all good things are at one time or other released around the middle of December, I was a little disappointed with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
Deviations from the original, incredible literature are one thing, but tackiness is quite another. I'm not a good movie reviewer and as there are pages and pages of detailed criticism already written to over saturate the internet, I will confine mine to something I found unforgivable: Tauriel and Kili.
Begin the Rant
IF you're going to write in a new character, and IF you manage to create a really cool one such as Tauriel why on Middle-earth would you go and ruin it by meshing in a scarcely believable relationship between a dwarf and and elf? The relationship was on the racks from the beginning, and while some noble feelings in between Legolas and Tauriel would have been credible, Kili and Taurial were torturous to watch.
The Relationship was Badly Done
"Badly done indeed." It is permissible to pull in a quote here from one of the most successful romance writers of all time, Jane Austen, who understood what personalities, character types and classes could be mixed and which couldn't. Now you may or may not be an Austen fan which is fine, and you may also recognize that Austen shouldn't be a comparison here because The Hobbit is not in the romantic genre, but that is rather my point. Why was this kind of romance mixed so prominently into Tolkien's adventure and fantasy? Past that, anyone with sense knows that there are people who cannot and should not sustain an equal relationship. All class and hierarchy aside, they just don't fit. Kili and Tauriel did not. Apparently they laid eyes on each other and instantly fell into heedless attraction, as I couldn't find a common point between them other than that they were both warriors. Then, in a story that was originally far from the romantic genre someone decided to make a square peg fit a round hole and write a romance between a dwarf and an elf and somehow make it into a major moony-eyed part that smacked of a preteen romance. Both Kili and Tauriel were fine people on their own and putting them together lessened their characters.
The Height Discrepancy
This just really, really bothered me. Now this is shallow, I admit, but if I have to justify myself it goes deeper than that to symbolize their utter discrepancy. It seemed ludicrous, not sweet. In one scene the shot is an uptake of Tauriel gazing fondly down at Kili, and while she seems tall and queenly, he is a little school boy staring in rapt, puppy-dog adoration. Not so great for an inspiring romance going on. In 'Mirror Mirror' that whole puppy dog thing was forgivable, because Prince Alcott had just drank the wrong magic potion and besides, the queen was in the same camp in his shirtless scene. I digress. My point is, physicality does matter, whether or not you're going for ugly duckling or beautiful princess. Make the characters fit the story.
Tolkien included romantic, beautiful side stories in his literature, ones that made us swoon and teach us about deep love through hard choices, but it was never the focus. Had The Hobbit movies been beautifully done this would have cheapened the story, but as it is it was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. I'm going back to watching LOTR. Or maybe I'll watch The Hobbit again and close my eyes through the unfortunate romantic scenes.
I've got it! I'll read the book.