Skip to comments.[Review of] The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
Posted on 11/27/2001 8:56:31 PM PST by sourcery
The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
Cast (Major Roles Only)
Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins
Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf
Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
Sir Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins
Sean Astin as Sam Gamgee
Billy Boyd as Pippin Took
Dominic Monaghan as Merry Brandybuck
Orlando Bloom as Legolas
John Rhys-Davies as Gimli
John Rhys-Davies (voice) as Treebeard
Sean Bean as Boromir
Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
Liv Tyler as Arwen
Christopher Lee as Saruman
Brad Dourif as Grima Wormtongue
Andy Serkis (voice) as Smeagol (Gollum)
A review by Ronald Epstein
One ring to rule them all,
One ring to find them,
one ring to bring them all and in
the darkness bind them.
Published in 1954-1955, J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece Lord Of The Rings trilogy still remains one of the
most definitive works of imaginary fiction ever written. The extraordinary efforts to get this trilogy to
the screen is a testament of how popular these stories are today. New Line has taken a gamble and risked
everything by filming all three movies back-to-back without knowing the fate of the original release.
The Fellowship of the Ring is the very first of the Tolkien trilogy. It will be followed up with
The Two Towers (2002) and Return of the King (2003).
As release date slowly draws nearer, everyone is holding their breath. Will this film live up to expectations?
Will this movie make a strong enough impact that audiences will anxiously want to remain loyal to the
films that will follow? The answer is a definitive YES on all accounts.
Lord Of The Rings will make its mark in film history. Fans will embrace this film and newcomers will
be in complete awe of one of the most visually entertaining films ever made....and this is only the beginning!
The film begins with lengthy female narrative that tells the story of Middle Earth - the ancient land of elves,
dwarves, hobbits, wizards and other creatures. We are told of the creation of the individual rings that
were handed down to the wisest and most noblest creatures of Middle Earth. We are then told of the ONE
ring that was forged out of Mount Doom -- the ring that controlled all others -- worn by the dark and
evil Lord Sauren. We are told of a battle and the defeat of Sauren and how his ring is eventually lost
only to be found by Gollum, a lowly creature that gets poisoned by its power. The ring is eventually
stolen by hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. And so, this is where the trilogy begins.....
It's a beautiful day in the Shire, the peaceful home of the Hobbits. A carriage rolls through a lone road
that parts meadows of lush grass and farmland. It is Gandalf the Wizard visiting his old Hobbit friend,
Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm). It is Bilbo's birthday, and the old hobbit is more concerned about leaving the
Shire rather than partake in any party. Something is very heavy on Bilbo's mind, and Gandalf is watching
him closely. That evening, Bilbo's party is in full swing with some of the most amazing and beautiful firework
displays ever seen on film. When Bilbo makes a daring announcement to his party guests, Gandalf realizes that
Bilbo is in possession of a very important ring. Gandalf convinces Bilbo to give up the ring, and give it to
the very young Frodo (Elijah Wood). When the secret of the ring is finally revealed to the old Wizard, Frodo
is warned to leave the Shire at once. Hence, the adventure of a lifetime begins.
Clocking in at about 3 hours running length, Lord Of The Rings doesn't waste time. Every minute of
the film is used to remain as faithful to the book as possible. The most important aspect of this film is
that it had to properly tell the story as written. The end result is that this film becomes a definitive
and accurate recreation of the story.
Though it had been 20 years since I last read the trilogy, the film brought back every single memory I had
of the story with visuals that exceeded my own imagination. You will see visuals in this film that go beyond
anything you have seen before. The film is visually beautiful as we travel through the lush green grasses
of the Shire with the huts built into the hills, or, the beautiful mountain village of Rivendell, inhabited
by the Elves. With so much beauty also comes the darkness of Mordor and Mount Doom so grimly recreated
with cameras that swoop into the lowest depths of these locations as we watch armies of death manufacturer
weapons as they grow, amass, and hunt the one that holds the ring.
Make no mistake about it, this film is very dark. The most terrifying creatures of Middle Earth are
realistically brought to life. Whether it be the Ringwraiths, dark riders who are neither dead or alive
or the armies of orcs who inhabit the Mountains of the Dwarf kingdom, this movie manages to keep your
heart racing with scene after scene of edge-of-the-seat battles set to sweeping music of Howard Shore.
I have two favorite sequences in this movie. One involves a duel between Gandalf (Ian Holm) and the
elder wizard, Saruman (Christopher Lee). With each Wizard testing their powers against each other,
the duel becomes one of the most memorable scenes of the film as we see Gandalf helplessly spinning
around the floor. Another favorite sequence involves Frodo putting the ring on his finger and not
only becoming invisible to the outside world, but being visible to the inner world of darkness. These
effect sequences are creatively reproduced on screen to the point where you get chills running down
The biggest hurdles that New Line faces with Lord Of The Rings is the 3-hour running time and
the fact that this is not a film that is going to appeal to all audiences. While the fans who read
the original books are going to be enthralled with its faithfulness to the book, I couldn't help but
hear many women of the audience talking afterwards about how much they were unimpressed by the whole
film. Fans of the books and Fantasy films alike are in for the treat of their lives. Lord Of The Rings
has accomplished what many thought was the impossible -- to bring a live-action film to the screen
that accurately portrays the books as written, with enough visual eyes candy and engrossing battle scenes
that could very well make this the STAR WARS trilogy of the new century.
On a scale of 1-5, I give this film a 5.
Opens December 18th, 2001
Eowyn was a strong character, I've always thought higher of women like her than like "Charlie's Angels". For a young girl (I was sixth grade when I read the books), what better role model?
His first action as a proclaimed heir was to go to the Stone of Erech and claim the fealty that the dead owed Elendil.
Isildur instead of Elendil
That's true. To me, it was a tease. I thought they would come back later in the series. To introduce such powerful characters only to have them drift away wasn't what I wanted to see.
Will Fangorn and the Ents be in The Two Towers? I don't seen them listed in the The Two Towers credits.
I thought that Elendil called them to fight by his side at the last alliance of Men and Elves. When did Isildur in his short reign call on them?
The key is in understanding Tom as master. Tom is master of himself, not of Middle Earth. That's why the ring has no impact on him. The ring can't master him because Tom is master.
Tom is a person who is totally at home with who he is and his place in the world. He does not desire adventure for its own sake, nor fame, nor glory, nor wealth. All he desires is to love his lady and be loved by her. He has his part and doesn't try to go playing someone else's. In Christian terms, he doesn't see every opportunity as a calling, but waits patiently until he is called. Because he so thoroughly trusts in G-d for who he is, he can resist the opportunity to try to step outside of his calling.
Bev? What are you doing on Free Republic?
Oh, sorry Ma'am. Easy mistake.
Is it the little, or the humble?
BTW: One of my Sunday School teachers was talking about the passage where Jesus said, "You must enter the Kingdom like a little child" (blew the quote but got the sense). He was asking, "What are some of the characteristics of children that Jesus might have been talking about." The answer he was looking for (but never got out of us) is that they're little.
Worth a lot of thinking.
I am astonished that there seems to be a belief that LOTR does not appeal to women. I think I've read it at least 10 times by now. Sword and sorcery is my favorite genre.
But then again, I'm not your ordinary chick ;)
Uhhhh, would everyone please send "go into labor" vibes my way so that I don't miss the opening of this movie? Thanks.
I started reading in my dorm room in Graham Hall at LSU on a Monday afternoon after classes, my sophomore year in college, in the spring.
I read until I fell asleep, about 4 AM on Tuesday. I had no morning classes on Tuesday and Thursday. I awoke, ate lunch at the cafeteria by Kirby Smith dorm, went to class Tues PM, and then returned to my room and started reading again.
I skipped class Wednesday and read.
I skipped class Thursday and read, only pausing to eat when I noticed the time.
Friday morning about 9 or 10 AM, I finished. I had LIVED in Middle Earth for almost four days. It had become more real than reality.
I was heartbroken as I walked back to Sam's cottage with him, knowning that while someday Sam, as a bearer of the ring, might sail across the sea and be reunited with Frodo, Bilbo and Gandalf, that I would never see them again... I wept.
It was the most all-encompassing reading experience I could possibly conceive anyone of having. I have always read intensely and into oblivion, becoming engrossed and unaware of my surroundings. It is a "cinematic" experience for me as I am a strong visualizer (you ought to see some of the dreams I have!)
I have never duplicated that experience again, even when I have reread the Hobbit plus the Trilogy hard on the heels of one another.
Maybe - just maybe - this movie (these movies) will bring me there for a second time.
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
You're welcome. It took me forever to figure out why Tom was in the story. It took even longer to learn to respect Goldberry as one of the most powerful women in the drama.
G'head. Ask me why. G'head.
I'm pretty sure that the Elves rings belonged to Elrond, Galadriel, and the Elf Lord at Grey Haven (I'm drawing a blank on the name). If Aragorn acquired a ring, it was only when the elves were leaving Middle Earth.
It doesn't get going 'til they leave Rivendell. Everything before that is setup.
My Trilogy initiation was nearly identical to yours. I, too, was completely transported and immersed in Middle Earth for about 3 or 4 days, as I recall, during my college days (though I had dropped out then, only to return a number of years later)...Later I named my bike (10-speed) Sting (there's a strange reason). On my 33rd birthday I threw my own party and gave presents to my friends. I really feel I should reread the 3 books before I see the movie. I don't think I could recreate that 1st experience either, but I want to bring the characters and scenes to life in my own way before I see Hollywood's intepretation. BTW: I was in New Orleans last week and had a Muffaletta at Frank's Grocery. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
Not so long as he keeps his hands off of the entfruit. ; )
Was this the one that had the memorable line: "Where there's a whip, there's a way."
In response to "Who would I be?" on the Thread "We are all hobbits now", I wrote:
"Well if I can't have fire, (Arien) then how about water. I think I'd choose Goldberry, river daughter of the Old Forest, married to Tom Bombadil, and probably a decendent Maia (like Arien):
Golden-haired... I am
Concerned with the natural world of forest and stream... my hobby is to photograph the same
aside her husband, rescuer of the Hobbits during the Quest of the Ring.... on my own quest for justice, as you know
An Elf-queen in her radiance, flowers in her hair, garments of silver and gold, shoes that shimmered...nothing finer than silks and cashmere and a little glittering Angel dust for those special ocassions
Sings like a bird...How I wish to sing those love songs
Husband Tom: powerful and eccentric and merry....ah yes, strength with a sense of adventure and he'd make me laugh
He was always singing....love songs no doubt
His power was absolute, no evil could touch him...safe and true."
NOW I AM IN MOURNING!!!!!
I don't know you, so I may be misreading your message. Are you about to deliver? If not, my apologies. If so, and you are anxious to deliver, I swear Italian food does something. Italian worked for a friend. My sister's lasgana worked for me. My Italian roast beef worked for a friend. Coincidence? Probably. But if you get desperate, let me know. I'll send you a recipe. Good luck.
Wow! Freshman year. Girl's dorm. Other than that, it's deja vu all over again.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who responded with their own perspectives.
Wonder what they chatted about...
I would prefer they cut entire characters rather than change them or rewrite them--It's much cleaner and historically accurate...It's like rewriting history. It is history...and we shouldn't rewrite it.
I so agree with you. Look what Disney did to Pocohontas!