THE LORD OF THE RINGS
The Two Towers
Departure from Tolkien's book
David Wenham as FARAMIRIn the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, Faramir is played by David Wenham. The actor jokes that he got the role because he and Sean Bean, who played Boromir, both had large noses. [Cameras in Middle-earth: Filming The Two Towers, DVD Documentary]
Faramir and his brother's appearances were slightly altered from the book: in the films, they have fair hair and are slightly bearded, whereas in the book they were dark-haired and, following a statement in Unfinished Tales, lacked beards. [Tolkien, J. R. R. (1980), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Unfinished Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, "History of Galadriel and Celeborn": "Of Amroth and Nimrodel", ISBN 0-395-29917-9]
The plot of the second film, The Two Towers, introduces a significant deviation from the book: Faramir does not at first let Frodo, Sam, and Gollum go, but decides to bring them and the Ring to Gondor.
He takes them to Osgiliath and not until the Nazgûl attack the city and Frodo comes under the threat of capture does he release them. This change received some criticism, and the character in the film was jokingly dubbed "Filmamir" or "Farfromthebookamir", among other names. ["The Reading Room". Caption Contest 33!!!!!!!!!!!! - Filmamir! er... Farfromthebookamir! No wait... it's Faramir!.]
Jackson's explanation is that he needed another adventure to delay Frodo and Sam, because the episode at Cirith Ungol was moved to the third movie, and so a new climax was needed.
In fact, according to the time line given by Tolkien, Frodo and Sam had only reached the Black Gate at the time of the fall of Isengard. Jackson also argues that it was necessary for Faramir to be tempted by the Ring because in his films everyone else was tempted, and letting Faramir be immune would be inconsistent in the eyes of a film audience. ["The Next Reel"]
A scene that received additional criticism is the Rangers' treatment of Gollum, who is beaten up, and Faramir's implicit compliance. ["The Nature of Faramir: A Response". Old Special Reports. TheOneRing.net.] ["The Faramir Changes: Arguments Against". Old Special Reports. TheOneRing.net.]
In the book, Faramir called the creature Sméagol instead of Gollum, and told his men to "treat him gently, but watch him".
[Two Towers 1954b, "The Forbidden Pool", p. 300]
Co-screenwriter Philippa Boyens and actor David Wenham defended the changes to Faramir's character in order to increase dramatic tension: Faramir's "sea-green incorruptible" nature in the book would not have "[translated] well filmically". Wenham also found Tolkien's original "dramatically dead", despite having not read the book until after filming had commenced. [The Lord of the Rings film trilogy - From Book to Script: Finding the Story. [DVD]. New Line Cinema, 2003.]
David Wenham - First Post
David Wenham - How can this be the Second Post when I was so wrong
David Wenham - The Two Towers - Third Post
David Wenham - The Two Towers Extended - Fourth Post