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Movie Reviews

Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring  
Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Brad Dourif, Hugo Weaving, Bernard Hill and Billy Boyd.
Written by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Stephen Sinclair and Philippa Boyens.
Produced by Barrie M. Osbourne and Peter Jackson
Directed by Peter Jackson


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Based on the popular novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, one of the more anticipated films of the year (if not the most) finally makes it to the big screen, and even with all the hype surrounding it, “The Lord of the Rings” is nothing short of amazing. It is a grand movie of epic proportions that will no doubtingly join the likes of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Star Wars” in the non-independent film Pantheon.

Set in the mythical land of Middle Earth, in an era of goblins and wizards, the evil Lord Sauron and his dark forces once again threaten to rule all. The fate of the world relies on who possesses the one ring, which holds unspeakable power and might. It was Lord Sauron who created the ring out of the fiery depths of Doom Mountain years and years ago, but it was during a history-altering battle where Lord Sauron was killed that the ring changed hands. Because the ring is evil by nature, greed and hatred overcomes the new bearers. Wars were waged to get the ring, and consequently, the ring was lost. The threat of Sauron seemed to have been extinguished…that is until the day the ring was found.

The ring beckons the spirit of Lord Sauron, and the alliance opposing Sauron realizes that the only way to defeat him and his forces is to destroy it. The ring is entrusted to a hobbit, Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), and along with a group comprising of elves, dwarves, hobbits, humans and a wizard, a fellowship of nine is created. They have the daunting task of taking the ring back to Doom Mountain, for it is only there that the ring can be destroyed once and for all. From the dark underworlds through the rugged snowcapped mountains, the Fellowship of the Ring will battle evil and prevent Sauron from taking over Middle Earth.

“The Fellowship of the Ring” is indeed the true embodiment of what a “Hollywood” movie is set out to be. It takes you to another time and place, with state of the art visuals and effects, an engrossing story, awe inspiring adventure and a genuine sense of gravity. We have gotten a lot of these qualities from other recent blockbusters, but it is the last one that really won me over. A lot of times movies will have this “end of the world” theme to it, but it doesn’t quite capture the essence of the situation’s severity. The action is limited to only a handful of players, and the rest of the world doesn’t even seem to be aware that anything is wrong, as seen in “Armageddon” or “Tomb Raider”. This is what elevates “The Fellowship of the Ring” from the rest. The film captures the significance of what is happening and almost reaches the same epic levels as those of Roman mythology or the Biblical tales of The Ten Plagues, The Great Flood and such. “The Fellowship of the Ring” is a work of fiction that seems authentically real.

Just like “Star Wars”, “The Fellowship of the Ring” is the first installment of a forthcoming trilogy, which means it will be the slowest of the three. Characters will need to be introduced, situations to be situated and at almost three hours, it takes its time to do all these. The first half presents all the background information we need, and the adventure doesn’t actually begin until the second half. Some will find the movie slow, especially children. I had this one kid about seven years old sitting next to me who kept fidgeting through most of the film. However, it is very crucial to have a careful introduction to the story, and rushing it would have been a mistake. This is the “Harry Potter” for the older crowd.

“The Fellowship of the Ring” is far from being perfect, however. There were scenes that irked me for being a bit excessive or melodramatic. Take for example the scenes with Cate Blanchett, who plays the elfin Galadriel. The soft light used on her is just overly done, and Blanchett is reduced to a mere white blur on the screen. Or the unnecessary melodramatics of a near-drowning towards the end of the film. The movie could have done away with these, but they are very minor quibbles when one looks at the overall picture.

The sense of adventure that we get from watching the movie can hardly be surpassed by any other. I admit that I am not the biggest fan when it comes to the realm of goblins and ogres (except maybe for an occasional game of “Magic the Gathering”), but one does not need to be into Dungeon’s and Dragons to get into the movie at all. “The Fellowship of the Ring” does not disappoint when it comes to action and emotion.

In a year fraught with misses, “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” hits the mark. No need for reverse story telling. No need for a bizarre nightmare through the streets of Los Angeles. No need for a cutesy green ogre. With a solid cast and an engrossing adventure, this is definitely the best movie of the year. It has been a long while since I have picked a “Hollywood” movie to be the best of the year, but “Fellowship of the Ring” deserves it.

4/5

Reviewed by Mazzyboi

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