Jackson’s Eyes

About halfway through my second Two Towers viewing, it hit me that the visual key to the movie is eyes. Peter Jackson loves actors with expressive eyes; he loves close-ups on those eyes; he loves eyes, period. The Two Towers may well be the closest thing to eye-fetish porn I have ever seen.

Here's a partial list of shots and scenes from The Two Towers that are all about the eyes:

  • Sauron's embodiment is as a giant electrical eyeball (with an extra-creepy vertical pupil).
  • Gollum is also just about entirely eyes. Those watery blue eyes are each about the size of his mouth.
  • Gandalf's quasi-near-death experience starts with a zoom into one of his eyes.
  • When first we meet Theoden, the blank stare of his vacant, half-closed eyes dominates his aged and fading face. The eyes, of course, are the first thing to come back.
  • Frodo has a good scare when a dead warrior's eyelids flick open to reveal eyes of solid white.
  • Frodo also has a great moment in Osgiliath when his eyes roll back in his head.
  • The elves don't blink much. Ever notice that one?
  • What's the first thing we see of Treebeard? That's right, his startling brown eyes.

Of course, just about every major character in the movie is played by an actor or actress with remarkable eyes. People have mentioned Miranda Otto, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Christopher Lee, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, and Bernard Hill for their ocular contributions, but they're by no means alone. Even Brad Dourif and John Rhys-Davies get their eye shots. (Not to be confused with Eyeshot, of course).

I'm thinking that this eye mania has to be deliberate. Right?