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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Amon Hen I ~ Frodo and Boromir Pt. 1

Posted on 2006.06.18 at 18:03
Tags: ,
Amon Hen: Frodo responds to Boromir, Pt. 1:

Note: There are over forty screencaps in this sequence, so I am posting them in two sets.


In terms of film scenes that portray Frodo well, I think this FotR scene with Boromir is one of the best in the trilogy. Frodo comes across as the hobbit he shows himself more and more to be throughout the book (although much less so in the film): brave, resourceful, noble, and able to master himself amazingly well under pressure. As a hobbit, Frodo is at an extreme physical disadvantage in this confrontation. He is briefly courted, openly pressured, then finally attacked by the huge Man of Gondor. Nevertheless, film Frodo manages to come across as someone with the resources necessary to deal with the situation.

In the book scene, Frodo has been wandering around aimlessly for an extended period, still undecided. When he first sees Boromir, he is not alarmed; Boromir is “smiling and kind”. They sit and chat in a normal way before Boromir begins to show signs of tension and grows insistent.

In the film, all of this is greatly compressed and the tension in the scene escalates from the very first moment. When film Frodo sees Boromir, he is instantly on his guard. Yet he appears more wary than frightened. His senses sharpened by danger, Frodo is observant, noting each modulation in Boromir’s tone and each shift in Boromir’s physical proximity. Frodo appears to be mentally cool and physically quick.

All of this is book Frodo to a T, but there is something about Frodo in this scene that gratifies my book-loving self even more. Yes, Frodo is portrayed as clever and quick, but so is Brer Rabbit. What Frodo demonstrates in this scene far exceeds cleverness and quickness and the ability to escape.

In spite of their difference in physical might, and, in spite of the fact that Boromir is the son of the Steward of Gondor and a great captain of men, and Frodo merely a well-off gentleman scholar from the Shire, Frodo interacts with Boromir in this scene as his equal. Frodo only keeps his distance out of common prudence, on account of Boromir’s great size and his known fixation on the Ring. In this scene, it is Boromir who looks like he is struggling, not Frodo. It is Boromir who is losing it, not Frodo. It is Frodo who behaves nobly, like a prince, not Boromir. It is Frodo who retains his dignity; it is Boromir who begs and pleads. And when Boromir begins to become visibly desperate, it is Frodo, the Hobbit, who seeks to recall Boromir, the Man, to himself.

“You are not yourself!” Frodo says -- just as he might say, “Get a grip -- remember who you are!” Frodo says it with such authority and with such dignity, it is clear that he speaks to Boromir, “man to man.” Frodo is aware of danger, yet he says it as he might have said it to a fellow-hobbit having a melt-down over a slipped wheel -- that is, to someone like him, someone who still could be reached.

Even when Frodo realises that Boromir is actually going to try and take the Ring by force, I still don’t get the sense of Frodo as terrified, but of someone who is keen to protect his mission (i.e. keeping a Boromir who has gone mad from getting the Ring).

I was sorry the frames of Frodo’s face as he wrestles with Boromir were largely a blur. In the least blurry caps, the look on Frodo's face is fierce as well as desperate. Tears spring to his eyes, but, considering how heroically he has played the rest of this scene, I assume those tears are tears of dismay -- dismay that Boromir might seize the Ring and bring the Quest to nothing, rather than that Boromir might seize the Ring and Frodo will feel personally bereft.

ETA: Maybe, they even are tears for Boromir, since what the Lady of Lothlorien said would happen had happened: the Ring would take them, she said, one by one. Here, before Frodo's eyes, he was seeing Boromir being taken. What a sorrowful moment, even in the midst of fear.


Look at the Tolkien describes Frodo's escape from Boromir:

[Boromir] rose and passed his hand over his eyes, dashing away the tears. 'What have I said?' he cried. 'What have I done? Frodo, Frodo!' he called. 'Come back! A madness took me, but it has passed. Come back!'

There was no answer. Frodo did not even hear his cries. He was already far away, leaping blindly up the path to the hill-top. Terror and grief shook him, seeing in his thought the mad fierce face of Boromir, and his burning eyes.

Frodo was shaken not just by fear, Tolkien tells us, but grief.






~ Brightened and sharpened screencaps from the Amon Hen scene of FotR, fullscreen version of the theatrical release:




















































































Next Amon Hen entry here.


For other Frodo Screencap entries, see the table of links here.


~ Mechtild

Comments:


Ann
just_ann_now at 2006-06-19 00:00 (UTC) (Link)
it is Boromir who looks like he is struggling, not Frodo. It is Boromir who is losing it, not Frodo. It is Frodo who behaves nobly, like a prince, not Boromir. It is Frodo who retains his dignity; it is Boromir who begs and pleads. And when Boromir begins to become visibly desperate, it is Frodo, the Hobbit, who seeks to recall Boromir, the Man, to himself.

*sob*

*slinks off to weep over Boromir. Again.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-06-19 00:22 (UTC) (Link)
It's a fabulous scene, isn't it? Gosh, but Sean Bean was fantastic. You know, I never cared for or about Boromir in the book, but in the film, he was just so human, and tried so hard, how could anyone not love him? After Frodo has run off and he comes to himself again, leaves in his hair, begging him to come back because he's sorry, oh, my heart just BREAKS for him. I know that when polls are done for "best" or "most moving" death scenes, Boromir's always is somewhere at the top of the list, if not the very top.

(((((((Boromir)))))))
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-06-19 00:23 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, he does. See my response to Ann directly above about Boromir's worth. Sean Bean and his film portrayal elevated that character for me to someone I just loved and for whom my heart bled.
Shirebound
shirebound at 2006-06-19 01:37 (UTC) (Link)
I adore these shots, especially Elijah's way of looking up without looking up (just looking up with his eyes, not his head). These shots are such a perfect blend of Frodo being strong in an incredibly vulnerable situation.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-06-19 02:14 (UTC) (Link)
That's our hero! "Strong in an incredibly vulnerable situation."
Mona
lame_pegasus at 2006-06-19 04:31 (UTC) (Link)
You are right; this is the scene where I find most of BookFrodo in all the movies... one of the rare moments where they totally rely on the score, using Tolkien's words for the dialogue and creating a chance for two very skilled actors to show their best abilities. I love this so much. Thank you for those gorgeous screencaps!
Mona
lame_pegasus at 2006-06-19 04:37 (UTC) (Link)
Oh - and thinking of the scenes when Boromir is wounded and dies, I remember the second time when I watched FOTR in theatre. Right beside me sat a wonderful old lady - clearly in her seventies - who was as engrossed and stunned as I was, and we both burst into tears when Boromir suffered and had that last moving moment with Aragorn. This is one of my strongest memories of the first movie.
Starlit Woods
starlit_woods at 2006-06-19 12:04 (UTC) (Link)
How can he look that good and be such a good actor?!

Thank you so much for the screen caps and the commentary, it's excellent :)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-06-19 12:23 (UTC) (Link)
How can he look that good and be such a good actor?!

EW's been practicing since he was little. ;) Seriously, thanks, Starlit.
taerie
taerie at 2006-06-19 12:55 (UTC) (Link)
Oh thank you for these!! * Right click frenzy.*

When I read the book for the first time.. my perspective was so much younger and I didn't read it again till years later after I had seen the movie. (I only read it once.. and couldn't again because my memory of every word was so clear and intense.. as if I had lived it myself. I was waiting to forget it a bit.. I'm glad I didn't hold my breath.:-)
Anyway, My opinion of Boromir was immature. To me, when I noticed him at all he was the bad guy.. trying to take the ring from brave little Frodo who I was so besotted with. Sean Bean made Boromir and his motives to me.. much more accessible. And personal. I suddenly felt as though I was one of the people he was so desperately trying to save.. And I could have easily been some woman of his people who's fate he felt responsible for. When I re-read the book.. I was struck by everything I had missed the first time about Boromir. His extreme kindness and gentleness. He wants to protect the hobbits at every juncture with his strength. It is he who notices that Frodo is freezing to death in the snow.. he is the one who honestly tries to comfort them and intercede on their behalf when he thinks Aragorn is being harsh. He is a big, strong guy who seems driven almost to protect the weak. How could I have missed so much? Now my heart melts for him and breaks when the madness leaves him and the pain of what he has done floods his face.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-06-19 23:17 (UTC) (Link)
He wants to protect the hobbits at every juncture with his strength. It is he who notices that Frodo is freezing to death in the snow.. he is the one who honestly tries to comfort them and intercede on their behalf when he thinks Aragorn is being harsh. He is a big, strong guy who seems driven almost to protect the weak. How could I have missed so much?

How did most of us miss so much? I think Tolkien just didn't flesh Boromir out enough for us to get it; maybe he didn't even paint Boromir that sympathetically. But Sean Bean imagined the role and played it with so much understanding and compassion for the character, it came out in the performance. He was just a gift to that film and to us fans everywhere.
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-06-19 20:59 (UTC) (Link)
An exceptionally touching scene, Mechtild! Thank you for screen-capping and commenting on it.

You wrote:

…just as he might say, “Get a grip -- remember who you are!” Frodo says it with such authority and with such dignity, it is clear that he speaks to Boromir, “man to man.”

…Authority and dignity,... I have been unable to put a name to Frodo’s behaviour in the film during this scene - Spot on! I thank you.

Isn’t Whiteling’s beautiful drawing – cropped in my avatar - so fitting for this sad scene?



Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-06-19 23:11 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, as if Este the Vala were looking on, dismayed and sorrowful.

Claudia's Cove
claudia603 at 2006-06-19 23:28 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, my! These just take my breath away. That was one of the most suspenseful scenes in FOTR...My heart just ached for them both -- Frodo who had to see the beginnings of the Ring working on the fellowship and Boromir because he fell to it but out of noble intent.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-06-19 23:55 (UTC) (Link)
Frodo who had to see the beginnings of the Ring working on the fellowship and Boromir because he fell to it but out of noble intent.

Yes, the film lifted this up for me to appreciate in a way I never did just reading the book. It went right by me (at an emotional level).
Alchemie
alchemie at 2006-06-20 03:08 (UTC) (Link)
You write such interesting and enjoyable summaries to go along with your screenshots, which are the best on the web bar none. Thank you for both.

Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-06-20 04:00 (UTC) (Link)
Why, thank you, Alchemilla. I'm floored. "Best on the web!" Must be all that additional tweaking (such fun to tweak pictures of such a beautiful character).
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