Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Fantasy Genre:

The Oscars were swept by the LOTR trilogy, especially in visual effects category. The third movie especially made some sort of record I think equaling Titanic and Ben – Hur. When I see these movies or read the books some things strike to me as very important. The first one is the demarcation of good and evil is very clear. This was true in the original Star Wars Trilogy but the new one was a brilliant piece when you see the evolution of Aniken Skywalker, the Jedi Knight to Darth Vader.
Going back to fantasy genre it is said it is enjoyed by thirteen year olds or grown ups who have brains of thirteen year olds. I tend to disagree. This genre is meant for people who are trying to seek perfection and order. They can’t bear to see the injustice running in the world and are helpless to fight it and end up seeing these movies as a route to escape from reality. Moving along this line of thought I think movies are means to escape from reality. Everyone has his way. Some escape by watching candy floss romance, some by supernatural horror and so on.
Also another question arises. Do movies actually do justice to the work of authors? Personally for all the books I have read on which movies have been made only two make the cut. The Godfather and The Chronicles of Narnia. One thing is sure no director can condense the book in three hours. So the directors for the above two movies limited their focus to a lesser part and were faithful to it. Some parts were omitted but they didn’t destroy or change the narrative. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for LOTR. The movies were a great watch for some one who hasn’t read the book but for people like me it was a letdown. Lots of parts were changed, over dramatized and simply deleted which formed an important part of the narrative.
Warning – this paragraph is for people who have watched the movie and/or read the book. LOTR haters next paragraph please!! When I had watched the Trilogy in the theater I was flabbergasted. What about the scouring of the Shire? How does Saruman die? Why the romance of Arwen and Aragon being over depicted? Why the sword being given to Aragon in the last part? Then the answer struck me. It was so simple! Commercial demands!! Peter Jackson might be a brilliant director but he can’t ignore the public demand. The masses want action, romance and adventure together. Which JRR Tolkein’s works would not have supplied. They were a piece of literature never intended to be made into epics. By the way he insisted LOTR was never a Trilogy. It was a compilation of 6 books.
All these doubts had almost lifted my faith on the Fantasy genre. They were further compounded by Eragon and Eldest. The faith was renewed by two authors. One was Samit Basu (GameWorld Triology) and the second was Jonathan Stroud(Barteimus Triology). Here no one is good or bad, everyone is surviving. And you can have laugh on the way too.
Samit Basu’s first work was Simoquin Prophecies. This book didn’t have a pirated copy so you can gauge its popularity. The work was astonishingly awesome. The whole world was crazy yet had an underlying order. Simoquin Prophecies marked a new beginning in its genre. The trend was continued in Samit’s next book, The Manticore’s Secret. Another piece of absolute brilliance, the GameWorld Trilogy rules!!
Jonathan Stroud’s work stands apart due to the fact that even though it moves in the realm of jinns and magicians, it is a bitter reflection of today’s society. It ends rather conventionally but still it manages to keep the reader hooked. The best out of the three namely – The Amulet of Samarkand, Golem’s Eye and Ptolemy’s Gate was the final part. It is simply brilliant. it disappoints in the fact that the author still clings to the conviction that basically all humans have an underlying goodness within them, which I hold to be untrue.
The fantasy genre has many brilliant authors like Terry Pratchet (DiscWorld Series) who I still have to read. As and when I read them I will keep every one posted.

No comments:

Post a Comment