|LORD OF THE RINGS:
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
|Stars: Elija Wood, Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett
Probably one of the most anticipated films of the year..based on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien
The film begins with the explanation of the old world, how many rings were forged which held great powers and were given to a select few. However there was one who forged his own powerful ring, an evil one which was bound to him...Dark Lord Sauron. The ring was lost and after enough ages passed where it all became myth, the ring was found. Wood plays Frodo, a hobbit who is given the ring after Bilbo, who kept it for many years, left it to him. But the ring wants it's master, it wants you to put it on your finger, so it may call to it's master who tho dead, is alive in spirit. The ring is a great temptation, all who look upon it sour with evil thoughts of it's power, ability for immortality and the ring itself becomes a test of one's willpower.
But why can a hobbit be trusted? Well they're small in stature (which is made clear by the nice effects) but are lighthearted, trustworthy, loyal and don't seem to have much maliciousness. Gandalf (McKellan) is a great wizard who guides Frodo and encourages him to destroy the ring, yet realizes that fate has it's own hand in things. Frodo must take the ring away, and begins a journey with close companions. If you want me to remember all of their names your nuts - I didn't read the story let alone memorize the film.<s>
All the while the forces of darkness are hot on their trail, so hot that they have many encounters with these warriors on black horses intent on killing them all and taking the ring. Running the show is another powerful wizard Saruman, who turned to the dark side and is organizing a powerful army. Many help Frodo and join him on his quest, as the fellowship of the ring is formed and they journey to the one place where the ring can be destroyed...the fires of Mount Doom. Their journey is frought with perils and the fellowship itself is tested.
Well the film is all about the visuals and effects. It looks nice, but the powerful images of the characters are what makes it stand out. It is not a film for a younger audience, it's very graphic sword and sorcery and is a "dark" film in which there is alot of underworld, demons and intense scenes. Does it follow true to the book? Well you'd have to ask a fan. Does it live up to the book? Anyone who has read a book knows the price you pay, movies usually never are as good as the book, leave out details and cannot truly embody what a book does with using the readers imagination. On it's own it stands as solid entertainment and opens up the doors, finally, to a genre that seemed to be on the verge of extinction.
If only it wasn't so long! And the way it ends it demands a sequel, it's ending is so unsatisfactory it almost made me think i was going to see a spot that says "stayed tuned for scenes from the next "Lord of the Rings". For the few out there who don't know of the book or the upcoming movies it may be frustrating. It's a film that is going to appeal directly to those who are into fantasy, mainly because there are so few films these days that play out like this without being too light. It might help tho to keep a notebook of the names, I began to realize i wasn't going to keep anyones straight. And with all the leading characters you feel a bit jipped at not really knowing more about each one. When you have such an ensemble cast this is usually what suffers.But iff I had to sit there for another hour I might have begun sobbing. Also worth noting was the sound, which might lack on home video unless you got a nice dvd and surround sound.