Sunday, February 14, 2010
A Written Review: Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is the most unique of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Whereas the last two films of the series fall into the epic genre, Fellowship is more of an ensemble adventure film. When this film premiered I was blown away by the technical and creative aspects of the movie and I have those same feelings to this day.
As a fan of the book series by Tolkien long before the movie was even announced I was skeptical as to whether or not a film version could be pulled off. The writers, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson, pulled off this adaption with expert skill and craft. When I dreamed of adapting the Lord of the Rings series into film as a kid I made many of the same decisions that Jackson made when it came to what to cut and what to change. Considering Tolkien had the habit of jamming his books with so many vital plot points, side characters, and sometimes chapter long descriptions what Jackson and Walsh did is to be commended.
The acting in this film is also top of the line. From Elijah Wood’s underplayed Frodo, to Sir Ian McKellen’s almost perfect Gandalf (I still think Michael Hordern’s voice is a bit more “Gandalf-y” thank McKellen’s) this cast as able to hit all of the emotional highs and lows of their characters. Also, the chemistry between the entire cast is outstanding. There isn’t really a single character I would say seems out-of-place in the world or in The Fellowship itself.
Probably one of the most impressive feats of Fellowship however is on the technical side. Whether it was the massive miniatures (referred to as “Bigatures”), the amazing make-up, the handmade armor and weapons, the expansive sets, or the amazing CGI Fellowship still looks amazing almost a decade after its initial release.
The cinematography was also quite impressive. The staple of the series were the sweeping epic landscape shots which, if sitting to close to the screen, can give the viewer a sense of vertigo.
Someone could literally talk for hours about this film, and if you watch the Appendices on the special edition disc they do, and it’s so hard to boil the movie down to a few simple paragraphs. However, one can say this: Lord of the Rings is one of the greatest accomplishments in modern cinema. It will forever be held as one of the great epics along with others like Braveheart, Lawrence of Arabia, Gone With The Wind, and Birth of a Nation.