Watching Peter Jackson’s second installment to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, I found myself enjoying the film, yet, at its conclusion, feeling strangely dissatisfied. This is because of the artificial division of Tolkien’s single book, The Hobbit, into a big screen trilogy. The chopping of the story into three parts had created a second chapter that concludes with no significant plot point being resolved. In comparison with other famous trilogies, such as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Hunger Games, all have a real ending, one that while carrying unsolved elements, still includes enough conflicts being resolved to make the audience feel rewarded.
Jackson’s film aside, it made me think about sayings such as “life’s a journey, not a destination,” and the many other variations on this theme. True, life is a journey, not a destination, yet it is hard to imagine a long voyage, even if an enjoyable one, without a chain of destinations that provide an additional incentive. After all, keeping a strict diet may be rewarding by furnishing better energetic level, but if one loses no weight in the process, I doubt the invigoration would sufficed. Similarly, taking endless classes in college can be a fascinating way of life, yet without society’s acknowledgement of our hard work in the form of graduate degrees, I question whether many such students would stay the course.
I still believe life is a journey, and I still feel a path traveled is as important as its endpoint; but purpose is required. Without a way of measuring accomplishments, something goes amiss. Bryant H. McGill said it nicely: Having a sense of purpose is having a sense of self. A course to plot is a destination to hope for.
Learned from: Watching Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and pondering.
(my review for this film is available at my film reviews web site)