The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Directed by Peter Jackson
Starring Elija Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortenson, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, and tons of others.
Reading The Lord of the Rings is one of those geek rights of passage I have yet to complete. I’ve read The Hobbit numerous times, and it stands as one of my favorite books, but The Lord of the Rings is just a lot slower than The Hobbit. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve attempted to read The Lord of the Rings only to get bored and quit. But, since I have attempted to read it so many times, I’ve wound up reading The Fellowship of the Ring quite a bit. I was a little bit nervous, however, when I read one review that had the exact same complaints about the film that I had about the book: long, slow, and boring. Would the movie be faithful to a fault? Only one way to find out.
The film opens at the 111th birthday of Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo has decided to leave Hobbiton to finish his book, and leaves in a grand exit. He leaves everything to his nephew Frodo (Wood), including his magic ring. But something Bilbo says about the ring tickles the brain of his old friend, the wizard Gandalf (McKellen). After some research, Gandalf discovers that the ring is The One Ring, forged by the evil Sauron and is just pure evil. The One Ring must be destroyed. So then, with his hobbit friends of Sam, Merry, and Pippin along for the ride, Frodo sets out to Mt. Doom to destroy the One Ring. But, who said that this would be easy? Along the way, Frodo must do battle with the Ring Wraiths and the forces of the evil wizard Saruman. To protect The One Ring on its way, a Fellowship is formed, consisting of our four hobbits, the elf Legolas, the dwarf Gimli, the wizard Gandalf, and the humans Borimor and Strider. Will they be successful in destroying the ring? Well, it’s the first of three movies, so probably not this time….
I found this movie not be overtly magnificent, but…satisfying. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, with a great plot, some magnificent special effects, and some great acting, but it wasn’t “bang, zoom, pow” spectacular. From what I remembered from my last attempt to read Fellowship, everything was pretty dead on to how I pictured it in the book: Bilbo’s Birthday, the journy through the Mines of Moira, how the wraiths appeared to Frodo when he put on the ring, and the final battle with the orcs. I am pleased to say that the movie moves a lot faster than the book. All in all, it was a good movie, although I sill can’t see why people worship this work of literature. Maybe it’ll all make sense after I’ve finally read it. Let’s see if I can finally get through it before The Two Towers comes out.