Anthony's Film Review
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
A modern classic is born and will take everyone's breath away...
I had read J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy before Peter Jackson's film trilogy was released. They were good books, but were incredibly detailed that I sometimes got lost in the story. I figured the movies would be a way for me to truly enjoy the magic of the story. I had also seen a few behind-the-scenes pictures of the film as they were still being made. My initial impression was that it would have standard, but good, special effects. Then, when it was almost released, I read a review by someone who got to see it in advance, and he literally urged everyone to go see it, even if one is not a fan of LotR or fantasy in general. That's how awesome it is. I didn't see the film on opening night, but I saw on its second day of release.
Let me first say that the cast is all top notch. It proves that you do not need the most famous actors to have an outstanding movie. I didn't know some of the actors, but I did know the rest. That's not the issue, however. What's important is that everyone sinks into their roles so well that I don't think anyone else could play the characters just as well. Elijah Wood gives one of his best performances as Frodo, the Hobbit destined to take the One Ring to Mordor. I also like Ian McKellen as Gandalf, who is both wise and courageous. I could go through the rest of the cast, but I'll simply sum it up by saying again that they're all perfect.
I remember reading the books and not recalling some of the parts, even if they were major ones. Seeing the film clarified many things for me as well as allowed me to relive the parts I do remember. I liked seeing the trip to the inn and the Hobbits' first encounter with Strider, a.k.a. Aragorn. It was also great to experience the scenes with the Council of Elrond, the Mines of Moria, and the encounters with the Black Riders. For those who have not read the book or remember only part of the book, the film is virtually a perfect visual representation of Tolkien's imagination.
Best of all, the first Lord of the Rings film presents visual effects that, although not revolutionary like George Lucas' Star Wars, are excellent and seamless. The creatures in the Mines and the shots of Mordor come to life before our very eyes. The scenery is also wonderfully presented. Anyone seeing the Shire, the tower of Saruman, or the Mines of Moria can easily believe they exist. We as the audience are pulled into another world for an entire three hours. I didn't stop once to remind myself that Middle-Earth is nothing more than the countryside of New Zealand and some artificial sets.
Even though I knew about its three-hour running time, I did not leave to use the restroom even once. From start to finish, my eyes were transfixed by what was presented on the screen. The reason is simple: the movie is absolutely breathtaking, exciting, and moving. My expectations for the movie were greatly exceeded. As soon as the film was over, I knew I would have great respect and appreciation for Peter Jackson. He had a vision for something he knew would be seen by many people as a masterpiece.
Every once in a while, a film comes along that stands out among all the others. In a way, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is the Star Wars of the early 21st century. This film and its two sequels are classics that will be passed onto future generations.
For more information about The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of the following:
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Hobbit Trilogy