Sitting in the warmth of theatre 3 in the Cinema 6 complex, watching the Timmins premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, I couldn’t help but think to myself – Timmins is the best place to watch this epic movie.
The movie opens to a massive, dragon-induced, firestorm reminiscent of the aerial bombings during World War 2. Flames of destruction everywhere. The Geneva Convention of middle-earth or its equivalent obviously had not banned such destructive weapon of mass-dragon destruction. Shortly after, the scene switches to a cavernous castle inhabited by the Dwarf-King, Thorin. The castle is knee deep..no make that hip deep in gold coins and gold treasures. With so much gold, I immediately thought of all the gold ever mined in Timmins and the Abitibi-Greenstone gold belt and imagined this is where it ended up.
Gold plays such an important role in The Battle of the Five Armies – as it does in Timmins and along the Abitibi-Greenstone Gold Belt in Northern Ontario and Quebec.
But that is not where the connection between The Battle of the Five Armies and Timmins ends. There is the cold…freezing, biting..bone chilling, cold. I thought of the walk from my apartment to the Cinema Six complex through a couple of feet of snow in -25 Celsius weather. Clear and cold…so clear I could see the Hunter up in the night sky – Orion. And now – there on the screen are the poor souls who had barely escaped the scorching hell of the fire-breathing dragon and such is luck that they would end up at the gates of Thorin’s mountain castle freezing in misery.
Gold and cold. The battle over the untold wealth of gold contained in the castle and the freezing mass of humanity outside the castle gate. Gold and cold. If someone were to name the two best words to describe the cities and towns of the Abitibi-Greenstone belt they would be “gold and cold”.
I really enjoyed the movie. Well-written, acted. The film held my interest and the fact I was watching this epic in the land of gold and cold added to the ambiance of the film. When the people at the gate were freezing I not only saw them trembling in the frigid land outside the castle gate — I felt it. When the camera panned on the endless gold…I thought of all the gold that has been mined up here only to end up vaults very similar to the gold-laden chambers of the castle or Fort Knox.
The real clincher for me was the Battle on Ice between King Thorin and the Orc commander. The two were battering each other all over a frozen pond that reminded me of a frozen-over Pearl Lake or Gillies Lake. With each fracture of the ice’s surface, I thought of ice fishing and all the other frozen pleasures of the north.
King Thorin, the Dwarf King, with a castle full of gold