Thank you for reading my blog. My site has changed locations! You can view it here.
I recently decided to read “The Hobbit” since the movie came out this year. I needed to pay some respect to J.R.R. Tolkien because when I went to see it in the movie theater, I didn’t really pay much attention at all. To put it delicately, I was canoodling with my boyfriend almost the entire time, only stopping to pay attention to the movie during Gollum’s scene. When I saw that hunched-over, conniving, little creature on the screen before me, I turned my face from the throes of romance to be captivated by the delightfully repulsive and evil Gollum. He was really the sole reason I went to see the movie in the first place. Gollum is my favorite character in almost any movie or book ever made or written. I’m not even a big “Lord of the Rings” fan. In fact, I could only give you a rough synopsis of the three movies. Since I read it, I could now tell you the plot of “The Hobbit,” but it’s the only J.R.R. Tolkien book I have read.
Maybe I’m drawn in by Andy Serkis’ portrayal of Gollum. I also loved him in “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” (When I wasn’t staring at James Franco’s dreamy eyes.) After reading “The Hobbit,” I’ve concluded that, although Andy Serkis is phenomenal, there is something written into Gollum’s character that I find so endearing. Yes, I mean endearing, even though he is repugnantly manipulative. This creature grew to only recognize himself. He speaks to only himself, asking if he should allow other people to do what they are doing, like they have no freewill of their own. It’s so absurd, and yet so true to life. Some people get so wrapped up in themselves, in evil, or in vanity. Gollum is actually very relatable and at times very vulnerable.
The most disgusting characters are sometimes the characters that we can relate to the most. We become disgusted because we understand and we see ourselves in them, even if we hate that we see it. We’re drawn in by the traits that make us empathize with them, but simultaneously turned away because of the vileness. This type of character evokes an inner battle within the audience. If the traits of the character were far from the truth, we would only be baffled by the absurdity, but not disgusted. When we read or watch Gollum’s character a part of us knows where he’s coming from, but maybe on a smaller, more contained, scale. At least I’d hope so.