For all those who thought it was a really bad idea for Peter Jackson to make three movies for The Hobbit – Eat your words!

The second rendition of the film franchise exudes exquisite exuberance, to say the least. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is an alluring fusion of Tolkien’s superior fantasy-fiction elements mixed with Peter Jackson’s delicate magic touch. The first Hobbit movie was slow, and though it was beautiful in every way, it did fall a little short of luminous brilliance! But this one is nothing short of zealous epicness.

The Desolation of Smaug continues where the first part left off, with a little filler, of sorts, at the start. And then the journey continues. Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and his not-so-merry bunch of Dwarves guided by Gandalf are enroute to the Lonely Mountain. To retrieve the Arkenstone. As the bunch inch closer to the mountain, they enter Mirkwood! Now, this is where you will notice the Guillermo del Toro touch. Yes, he co-wrote this. The jungles of Mirkwood, with the typical del Toro touch, crawls with freaky spiders and illusions that run through the jungle making the pack lose their minds. Enter Legolas & his little army. (For those, who haven’t read the book, Mirkwood is Legolas’ home. He is the Prince of Mirkwood).

Technically, the addition of Legolas in the movie is not really what the book follows, but Jackson has somehow given this addition a sinfully nice touch. The scenes that follow post the capture of the Dwarves by the Elvish King – Thanduril, is delightfully nerve-racking. The scenes will not only make you squeal, jump with joy and smile but will also chill your spines and before you know it, you’ll be at the edge of your seat (Hopefully, you are not watching the movie alone, else you may end up holding another stranger’s arm). The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is tremendously entertaining. Right from the soundtrack to the landscapes (Oh, the Landscaping) to the way the entire story was scripted!

For the people who loved the scene between Gollum and Bilbo in the first part – This one goes a notch higher.

Enter Smaug. The fire-breathing, Dwarf-loathing dragon. A dragon whose ego is larger than his enormous body, a dragon whose ferocity is far more dangerous than all those who inhabit Middle Earth. A voice that will send shivers down every nerve in your body, making your bones shackle and your forehead sweat! The scene – Little Bilbo Baggins going head-to-head with this mad Dragon! The sequences of scenes and dialogues that follow will most probably make your eye balls pop out. And the roar from Smaug that goes – “I am King under the Mountain”.

There were a few parts of the movie that weren’t really lovable material, though. For instance, the addition of a completely new character – Tauriel – A Silvan Elf – An Elf from Middle Earth. Though, she did pack quite a punch and had a small “Love thingy” going on with Kili – one of the Dwarves, her character in entirety wasn’t really of any use. The other letdown – Beorn. The ones who’ve read the book will understand. For the ones who have not – Beorn is a supremely fierce character. His character hasn’t been given too much of emphasis. He’s the one guy even the grotesque Orcs are scared of.

But apart from these couple of trivial things, the rest of the film was a work of art.

The cinematography, the landscaping and the soundtrack perfectly complemented each other. The story is so beautifully-told, that it will create this magical aura around you. Peter Jackson has literally individualized each Dwarf with a midas touch – Again a fusion of Tolkien & Jackson. Specially with Balin and Kili. Bilbo Baggins is in a league of his own. The “Bilbo” element will enthrall each and everyone of you!

Parallel stories run back and forth through the film and the way it’s been done is stupendous! Right from Gandalf battling the Necromancer and the Orcs to Bilbo getting more courageous and clever to the story of the city – Dale to Bilbo feeling his soul being eaten by the power of the ring. The angle of the Necromancer and the rising evil has been shown to perfection. For hardcore fanatics of the LOTR trilogy, the Necromancer will be a familiar figure.

Martin Freeman has done a role that shines through and pretty much beats every other character in the film. Even, Gandalf the Grey! His portrayal of Bilbo Baggins will make you want to stand up and clap for every little thing he does! Richard Armitage as the cunning & incredulous Thorin packs a killer punch. His character, like that of Master Baggins, holds strong through the film.

But the craziest of them all – Smaug. Yes, he was a computer-generated Dragon. But, he was epic! Benedict Cumberbatch who voiced Smaug has given this computer-generated character a whole new dimension.

All-in-all, Mind = BLOWN!

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