Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

The Return of the King is one of the most powerful and faithful cinematic renditions of a book I have ever had the privilege of watching.

I just read the review in The Star. S.B. Toh writes.

First, he compares The Return of the King to Braveheart!

Braveheart is a biopic. Sort of. LOTR-ROTK is surrealistic fantasy.

Second, he actually says "... is Mr Jackson's massive and decent adaptation rife with homoeroticism?"

Say WHAT?!

Am I supposed to give him leeway because he said "decent adaptation?"

He goes on to add "Not that I have a problem with that, mind."

GOD! I'm so eternally grateful we've got an enlightened critique here. I should just fall on my knees thanking and praising the Lord because this moron has no problems with homoeroticism.

Men obviously can't be tender with each other without accusations of homoeroticism cropping up. Or so the knowledgeable Mr Toh believes.

The fact that he brought it up illustrates beautifully what sort of filters we wear when we watch a movie. Which is probably why most of us can't agree with anything. But it get's better....

"The third and final instalment is a movie for the metrosexual in us, in the way it alternates between tender male bonding moments and vigourous testosterone-fuelled postures."

Mr Toh, do us all a favour and get your mind out of your crotch and try and think for a change. Oh yes, AND do SOME homework. Or maybe I know no better and that is indeed optional when we write a story for a major English daily in Malaysia?

Tolkien's book, when taken at face value, like 90% of us do, is a fantastic read. It has parts which could charitably be called, ponderous. But the entire style of the book switches from pastoral to stylised and back again without you realising it until you've finished all 3 tomes. But in my humble opinion, the fact that warriors do fall back on each other during times of battle, for support, and yes, for platonic love does not make it homoerotic. Except perhaps in Mr Toh's most fevered imaginings.

Further on in his "critique," if it could be called that, he goes on to mention that Tolkien's saga is many things, among them, an elegy for a passing era of nobility as represented by the elves, making way for the bourgeousie as represented by the era of the mortal man, and an "escape into the tranquility of pastoral England as a reaction against rampant industrialisation at the time.

Well, Mr Toh, I must certainly say that you seem to know Tolkien intimately, to have the arrogance to actually speculate on the great author's state of mind while writing this "critique."

With his closing paragraph, he continues to miss the point with "...the painted on mask and the bunting on his flanks, he is but a Beijing Opera performer remodelled," in reference to the mahout on the Oliphaunt.

But that IS the whole point! When you read the book you realised that the way it is written seems to signify a highly stylised dance, chase and fight, in parts. If that isn't opera, what is?

And with a final flourish of martyrdom, he closes "But pay no heed, please, Enjoy."

You're right Mr Toh. At long last!

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