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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The ultimate tale of good versus evil is about to begin
Perhaps one of the greatest stories ever told makes its' cinematic debut. Based off a series of novels by J.R. Tolkein, the film is about how Sauron (a.k.a. Satan) gives away several rings of power to each of Middle Earth's kingdoms (Elves, humans, and dwarfs). Unknowingly to everyone, Sauron creates another ring, one which is capable of ruling all the other rings, thus allowing him to take over the world. An epic battle rages on until Eliciador, human ruler of Gondor, vanquishes Sauron. However, because of Eliciador's greed, the ring isn't destroyed. Eventually, a series of events happen where Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm), of the Shire, finds and keeps the ring, and uses it to save the world. However, once Bilbo and his sorcerer friend, Gandalf (Ian McKellen) discover the ring's true origin, and how Sauron's life is tied to the ring. Thus, almost assuring of his return. Gandalf sends Frodo (Elijah Wood), Bilbo's nephew, and Samwise (Sean Astin) along with a group of warriors to go to Mordor to destroy the ring of power. Unfortunately, though, it's easier said than done as they face Orcs, Goblins, and an evil sorcerer, Sarumon (Christopher Lee), along the way. Peter Jackson does a great job on this film. Sure, it would've been easy to overcommercialize this film and allow the special effects to carry it, like most sci-fi films today such as "Independence Day" and so on. Instead, Jackson uses the story and character development to drive the film. This not only allows the viewer to feel more engulfed into the story, but to almost make it seem real with the CGI characters. However, this film never would've been a success without great performances as well. "The Lord of the Ring: The Fellowship of the Ring" is definitely one of the best sci-fi films ever made.
Peter Jackson uses just the right tone for the film, and he uses the setting to help build up the story. In the begining the film starts off in the Shire, a small town inhabited by Hobbits. This allows the viewers to get to know the main characters a bit, and to let on how simple their peaceful lives are. However as the film goes on, Jackson uses more elaborate settings for the Hobbits to symbolize how small we all are in the face of danger. In the cave scene, viewers will be clamouring in their seats as the dark and mysterious environment allows the viewer to see the characters fear of the unknown. It would've been easy for Jackson to just make this one overrated sci-fi flick, but he seems to have knack for creating a great story.
The character development was good which helped the audience feel closer to the main characters as the story went on. In the begining, Frodo was just a simple guy living out his life in the Shire; wishing to be a hero like his uncle Bilbo. However, as he embarks on his own journey, it soon becomes more of a curse for him. In one scene, it shows Frodo getting stabbed by a demon that almost kills him. Even having to witness his comrade, Baromir, die while being stalked by the Orcs forces. Even Aragorn changes as the film goes on. Aragorn is first seen as man running away from his past, but he soon must learn to become the man he was born to be. The viewer is able to see Aragorn become more of a leader as he battles along side Frodo to keep the ring out of Sauron's hands. These moments in the film allows the viewers to see how naive some of the main characters are, and how they evolve to adapt to the situation.
Elijah Wood and Sean Astin's chemistry together was solid in this one. In the many scenes they're together, the audience is able to feel a deep connection between the two characters. Allowing the viewers to see how meaningful their friendship is, so anyone can feel relate to them.
The special effects and make up designs were pretty good. However, the best part of the CGI was that it didn't steal the show, but rather enhanced the story which so many old sci-fi films used to do like the original "Star Wars" trilogy.
This film uses many symbolic meanings. For example, whenever the characters put the ring on, they disappear. This symbolizes the ring takes away the character(s)' soul whenver they put it on, thus vanquishing them to darkness. The ring itself is a symbol of man's lust for power. This is especially evident when Baromir tries to steal the ring from Frodo. Representing man's greed.
"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" finally makes its' big screen debut. Peter Jackson and an all star cast deliver a spectacular product into the movies. Truly one sci-fi film to rule them all.