Sunday, 25 December 2011

The Sunday Scene #6: The Two Towers

You Shall Not Pass!

I should start by wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas! I should then quickly point out that of course this is a scheduled post! I have definitely not written this on Christmas Day!

So on to the second of my LOTR trilogy scenes. Whereas I had to discount some great scenes when trying to pick my favourite from Fellowship, I have absolutely no problem with The Two Towers. For me, the opening scene was breath-taking; I think my jaw was on the floor of the cinema when I first saw it.

The film starts beautifully with aerial shots over the Misty Mountains, with perfectly scored music from Howard Shore enhancing the feeling of wonder and grandeur of these imposing peaks. Then we are thrust into the mountain to see Gandalf tell the Balrog where to go (Back to the shadow! What were you thinking?). Again we see Frodo's distraught face as Gandalf is dragged off the bridge by the Balrog's whip. Then suddenly we are plummeting into the abyss after Gandalf, as he hacks & hews at the Balrog, and the music becomes very operatic. After much fighting and gnashing of teeth while falling, there is a wonderful shot of a cave; then we see the scale of the cave as G and the B look tiny, falling towards the water at the bottom. Then as the battling duo finally hit the water there is a perfect cut to Frodo crying out for Gandalf as he wakes somewhere in the Emyn Muil.

I've talked previously about how amazing the opening scene of Star Wars is, but I think that The Two Towers is even more awesome. I'm not a fan of the word awesome, it gets far too overused for things that really aren't awesome (like a nice packet of biscuits for instance!), but the intro to TTT really is awesome, and my brief description really doesn't do it justice. The shot of G and the B falling into a massive cave always reminds me of the shot in Alien when Kane descends into the massive alien ship, and the tiny figure of John Hurt is completely dwarfed by the scale of the cavernous ship.

So there we go, a truly spectacular opening to The Two Towers. Helm's Deep is a great action sequence, but the intro is such a statement of intent regarding the film, we really don't get a chance to gather our thoughts before the film begins. Now, I just have to try and find my favourite scene from ROTK for next week!