Cert: PG Runtime: 178 mins Director: Peter Jackson Cast: Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Sir Christopher Lee, John Rhys-Davies, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, Sean Bean and Viggo Mortensen
Nine companions. So be it. You shall be the fellowship of the ring
The ten year anniversary of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings is edging closer, as a fitting tribute The Fellowship of the Ring is my blast from the past this week.An ancient Ring thought lost for centuries has been found, and through a strange twist in fate has been given to a small Hobbit named Frodo (Elijah Wood). When Gandalf (Ian McKellen) discovers the Ring is in fact the One Ring of the Dark Lord Sauron, Frodo must make an epic quest to the Cracks of Doom in order to destroy it! However he does not go alone. He is joined by Gandalf, Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Gimli (John Rhys-Jones), Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Boromir (Sean Bean) and his three Hobbit friends Merry (Dominic Monaghan), Pippin (Billy Boyd) and Sam (Sean Astin). Through mountains, snow, darkness, forests, rivers and plains, facing evil and danger at every corner the Fellowship of the Ring must go. Their quest to destroy the One Ring is the only hope for the end of the Dark Lords reign!What can I say about this movie that won’t fill a novel? Where do I start? I suppose with Peter Jackson. I was so struck to learn how these beautiful works of art, Tolkien’s magnum opus, inspired him to want to take on such a daunting yet gratifying task. He saw more in those books than I had read from them, and I’m glad that a dedicated fan brought these jewels to screen.In 3 hours, Jackson has crammed everything essential from the first novel & then some into the film, rewriting some scenes & dialogue with lesser characters for the leads, leaving out only what there wasn’t enough time for. Basically, you have two 90 minute movies running back to back. There are no slow spots, just one climax after another. Pure Genius.Thank you, Mr. Jackson!
The actors were great, they were a lot into their characters, and for the first time, I saw elves as they were, quick, agile, terrifyingly effective in battle – just look at how Legolas dealed with the hordes of enemies without a single hint of fear in his eyes – these are elves as they should be. Gimli was great too, I know people seem to think many characters were not developed enough, but by the actions you can learn a lot. With Gimli a lot can be learned about the dwarves, their pride, deep sense of honor and family, their mistrust of elves, their love for strong beer and a good fight against anything bigger, and their sheer hatred for orcs and the likes. Aragorn was totally the ranger character, the ending scene as he walked toward the horde of Uruk-Hai warriors was great, his attitude, his clothes, everything about him just cried “ranger”. Boromir was very well depicted, desperate to save the people of Gondor, by any mean necessary, robbed of all hope, yet in the end he redeems himself by showing his true valour, deep down, he’s willing to die to defeat evil, and when he recognizes his king in Aragorn, on his last breath, I felt like watching a hero die, it was moving. The hobbits were all great, Frodo is deeply sad and fatalist, and Sam is just the ‘best friend’ everyone would like to have, just as it should be.Elijah Wood, who is a very gifted and bright young man, has such an incredible talent to portray such a conflicted and fatalistic character. His own striking idealism, innocence, and understanding was such that you fell in love with Frodo at first sight, but not to the point where he seemed weak. Elijah is Frodo incarnate, and anyone else would have ruined the role.Finally, we have Gandalf, quite frankly, he looks mighty, Ian IS Gandalf. The faceoff against the Balrog in the Moria is a memorable sequence, and just shows how strong he really is, to be able to vanquish such a foe. I can’t wait for his return.
Anyway, “Fellowship,” stunned me for the visuals alone. I can’t recall any film that has so many jaw-dropping scenes, one after the other, for three straight hours. Some are beyond description, and I don’t care if they are computer- generated. So what? The fact is they are awesome to view, both in beauty and in staggering action scenes that feature incredible-looking monsters and other mythical characters.The action scenes are spaced out thoroughly enough for breathing room, plot advancement, and ever-continuing character development. Each action scene is its own, be it the flight to the Fjords of Bruinen, the Mines of Moria, or the showdown at Amon Hen near the end of the film. All are greatly choreographed, each stunt member and actor is full of energy and ambition as they wield deadly weapons at each others’ heads and limbs. It really is a sight to behold.I neglected to mention the efforts of the crew. Without them, over 5,000 people strong, these movies would not have been possible. They created Middle Earth in such way that it seemed possible to be a shadow of our past: a past world on Earth that faded away long before our time. Thanks be to them.Yes, there are differences from the books. There always are, in any adaptation. I saw that some people commented about how weak a character they thought Frodo seemed compared to the book, because several moments in which he looks Evil in the face were shortened/changed in the film version. That isn’t true. Not at all. True heroism means not only defending others, but accepting aid from others. True heroism means that one accepts that they can’t do everything alone, and accepts the aid of those willing to give it. THAT is true heroism. Frodo shows that in every light, even if it isn’t always obvious. You can see with much more than your eyes…Star Wars has been dethroned. Although George Lucas’ movies are good in their own right (except for the juvenile elements he puts in to sell toys to finance the franchise), his scripts (which borrow heavily from J.R.R.Tolkien, mythology & religion) can’t compare with the brilliance of the literary trilogy `The Lord of the Rings’. Granted, Lucas took on a herculean task in writing & directing his story himself, but Tolkien’s words, along with Peter Jackson’s faithful adaptation & inspired vision, have created something no one man could equal.Overall, if these were the last movies I thought worthwhile enough to watch , it would be fine by me. 9.2/10