To say that I was affected by The Battle of the Five Armies would be a severe understatement. It emotionally fucked me up, I was sobbing during the last thirty minutes, while with the rest of the film I felt like I was holding my breath, anticipating what was going to come next. Even though I had read the book and knew what was going to happen it still didn't prepare me for the outcome on the big screen. And it exceeded everything I was hoping for and then some, thus breaking my heart into thousands of little pieces before stomping on them repeatedly. This is vastly different to how it was for me last year with Desolation of Smaug, which I was really excited about and felt so elated with the film afterwards, that I wanted to go see it again immediately. The Battle of the Five Armies wasn't just an actiony battle movie, it was a deeply emotional film where you have to spend some time afterwards dealing with your emotions (picking up your shattered heart off the floor, basically) and absorbing what you had just watched before considering seeing it again. That is a high compliment, in my opinion.
I honestly want to write so much about this film, but honestly my brain too scattered and I'm still processing everything. But here are some key points that I want to mention:
** EVERYTHING IS BILBO/THORIN AND EVERYTHING HURTS. ;__; I'm actually planning a separate post for these two alone, because most of my commentary on the film has to do with them since they were all I thought about before, during and long afterwards, and quite frankly they deserve their own post after the heartache that happened and I can literally write several essays about them. But I will say this one thing: BOTFA pretty much solidified how canon they are. Just the fact that there are people who never once considered shipping them have admitted to now shipping them because of this film speaks for itself. All their scenes, which I'll talk about for their own post, broke me. In the best and worst possible way.
** RICHARD ARMITAGE, just, holy fuck. I cannot praise this man enough. His performance in this film was beyond phenomenal, and he deserves all the awards. Nobody else could ever portray this beautiful tragic character of Thorin Oakenshield like he does, and I'm hoping he gets all the proper recognition he rightly deserves. ♥ ♥ ♥
(And I have more to talk about Thorin too, which will be included in the Bilbo/Thorin post later on, because I also can go on forever.)
** I am super happy and relieved that the Bardlings survived, same with Tauriel. Those were the two biggest concerns that I, and many people, were having for the final film.
** The fact that the women of Laketown were fighting alongside the men made me really happy. This is something I had wanted to see ever since LOTR (with the women going into hiding while the men and young boys went to war), and something I really wanted to see happen anywhere in Middle-earth is more women picking up weapons and going to battle. And we finally got that, with them going "fuck that, we live with our men we will fight beside them!" The women of Laketown were proactive in this film and it came as such a pleasant surprise, it made me really happy, so so happy.
** GALADRIEL. KICKING ASS AND TAKING NAMES, MAINLY SAURON'S. I MEAN. HOLY SHIT. WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE HOW AMAZING THAT SCENE WAS.
** Dain was pretty damn awesome, not gonna lie. I also liked that little bit where the Mexican standoff between the Dwarves, Men and Elves was similar to a schoolyard squabble, especially with Dain insulting Thranduil and the dwarves laughing when he made an excellent burn. It makes all the bickering in fics more canon now, lol.
** I know some people are concerned about the way Thranduil has been portrayed in the films, but I quite like the way his character was presented. There's definitely more history with him that led him to become the way he was which is slightly revealed, and we got a little bit of that in BOTFA. The mentioning of his deceased wife, Legolas's mother, is something I was quite pleasantly shocked that was even mentioned, because I don't think Tolkien mentioned anything about her. So having some backstory on that was great, it gave some insight to who Thranduil was and the decisions he made, why he was so overly protective of his realm in Mirkwood which would seem rather cold or distant or unconcerned about other lands. In the end, I liked the way we saw bits and pieces of that guard dissolve, with him letting Legolas go and reconciling with Tauriel.
** That ending was so satisfying, with Bilbo returning to the Shire and seeing how much he changed from the simple respectable Hobbit before rushing out his front door (him picking up the handkerchief, the one he left behind, was such a touching moment because it really was symbolic for how such a simple thing he was so concerned about when he first went on the journey seems really small in comparison of everything he went through), and the transition of him fiddling with the ring in his pocket to older!Bilbo fiddling with the ring. And then going right into where FOTR begins with Gandalf appearing at his door! That was such a beautiful ending, and one that really feels like a completion.
There's definitely more I want to talk about, but I think I need several more rewatches before I can articulate more properly about my thoughts and opinions of everything else that happened.
In short, BOTFA was such an emotional movie for me that I cannot give a proper explanation on my feelings about it quite yet. But as I mentioned that's actually a compliment because it means that Peter Jackson did a good job at creating something I became so emotionally attached to that it resonated something within me that cannot form the right kind of words. As a whole, though, I have loved and enjoyed The Hobbit trilogy. People have complained about why there needed to be three films out of one book. Well, this is why. Had it only been one movie it wouldn't have had this kind of emotional impact. We needed to spend time with these characters, seeing their relationships with each other, their interactions with other characters, seeing the other things that happened that only were mentioned in passing in the book, in order to feel that personal connection, to immerse ourselves once again in the world of Middle-earth. I felt that Peter Jackson succeeded quite well in that department, in my opinion.
Please talk with me about it if you've seen BOTFA, we need to share in this pain together.
Also, what's interesting is how I didn't actually see the film at midnight, because our theater was showing it some hours earlier. I don't know if this is something new, but somehow they were showing it at 7:00pm, 10:30pm and then at midnight, and the day previously was of course the exclusive marathon event of all three films. I just found it rather strange that they would organize it like that, since I had gone to the DOS midnight premiere last year and other midnight premieres before that. There were still people that showed up obviously, but it wasn't as overly packed as before. So, I don't know.