Movie Review: The Lord of The Rings The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Posted: December 17, 2012 in Drama

The_Lord_of_the_Rings__The_Fellowship_of_the_Ring

 

In ancient times, The Dark Lord of Mordor, called Sauron, created one ring to rule over every part of Middle Earth.  The ring was taken by Isildur (Harry Sinclair) High King of Gondor.  Isildur didn’t destroy the ring but lost it to a creature named Gollum, (Andy Serkis) Gollum had it taken from him by Bilbo Baggins,  (Ian Holm) a hobbit. Bilbo’s friend, Gandalf(Ian McKellan) a wizard, implores Bilbo to give up the ring because he is being tempted by it.  Bilbo’s cousin Frodo (Elijah Wood) inherits the ring and becomes the ringbearer.  Frodo, Sam,(Sean Astin) Merry (Dominic Monoghan) and Pippen Took (Billy Boyd head off to the town of Bree to meet Gandalf.  But Gandalf is detained by Saruman (Christopher Lee) a powerful wizard who is also tempted by the power of the ring.  The Nazgul once men, now ghostly apparitions in black hoods, given power by Saruman, are now doing his bidding.  They are following Frodo, and try to poison him. Frodo is saved by Aragorm Strider (Viggo Mortensen) a ranger who is a descendant of Isildur, Arven (Liv Tyler) an elf and her father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving) an elf with magical healing powers.  Frodo is transported to Rivendell, where he is reunited with Sam, Gandalf, Merry, Pippen, Aragam, and is introduced to Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) a dwarf,  Baromir (Sean Bean) son of the ruler of Gondor, and Legolas,(Orlando Bloom) an elf and an archer.  All of them together form the Fellowship of the Ring, their mission is to escort someone to Mount Doom, where that someone has to destroy the ring.  Frodo volunteers to take the ring to Mount Doom, and the other agree to guard Frodo.  Saruman is creating the Uruks to follow Frodo and kill the Fellowship?  How far do the Fellowship get in their quest to destroy Sauron’s ring?

There is a lot of exposition in this story, but I can see why these books and movies are the precursor to movies like Star Wars and Harry Potter.  One can also see a similarity between Tolkien’s stories and that of CS Lewis. This is a classic tale with simple but effective archetypes. There are many protagonists go on a quest to, in this case, destroy an object.  Along the way, the protagonists meet an antagonist who used to use his powers for good, but has been turned evil by the temptation of power, who will win, good or evil?  Even the Shire plays a role in this morality play, it is shown as the idyllic home of Frodo and Bilbo, threatened by the pursuit of the ring.  The Lord of the Rings is more like the epic of old, the Odyssey or the Iliad, or the Excalibur legend of King Arthur.  The drawback to such an intricate plot, and so many characters is that the viewer can easily get lost or confused if he or she is not paying close attention, but if the viewer pays close attention, he/she will be richly rewarded.  Frodo is a tiny hobbit sent on an impossible journey, with risk around every corner, and the viewer naturally wants him to succeed.  Direction is superb, some of the scenery is beautiful , some of the scenes were a touch too long for my taste, but I haven’t read the books.  Readers will probably enjoy the level of detail.  The acting is superb, especially Ian Mc Kelllan, Viggo Mortensen, and Sean Bean.  But everyone is very good in this film, and their contributions make the movie more enjoyable.  I actually didn’t watch the first two movies, and watched the third in a theater in 2003, and that didn’t work, so I decided to watch all three, and then watch The Hobbit soon.  I must say I like the first installment of the LOTR series very much, and I did not know if  I would.

Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring.  A Hobbit that’s hard to break.

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