I know, I know, I’m the worst. I’ve never seen any of Tolkien’s work on the big screen. I missed out in theaters because I always wanted to read the books first, because that’s the kind of nerd I am, but life happened, ya know? It’s no excuse. The Lord of the Rings trilogy began coming out in 2001, and here it is, 2014 and I’m sitting down to watch The Fellowship of the Ring for the very first time.
Firstly, the film looks amazing and the beginning is a lot of fun. I enjoyed the playfulness between young Frodo (seriously Elijah Wood looks like a baby) and the great Gandalf. The seriousness of the situation quickly escalates as Gandalf expresses immense concern that the ring will seek out its master. It’s great development that immediately kept me interested.
It should seem cumbersome to be introduced to so many characters and civilizations, but it feels as if it’s lending reality to Middle-earth and not diminishing it. I am now so anxious to read the novels because I can’t imagine how beautiful the landscape is drawn out in words as compared to Peter Jackson’s wondrous vision. I felt so attached to The Fellowship, and I took their downfalls to heart, and that’s because of the performances. I imagine there wasn’t actually a Balrog present during filming, so to assume that Ian McKellan could give that sort of guttural reaction without feeling imminent danger is absolutely amazing. I also enjoyed Christopher Lee as Saruman the White, since I found him terrifying. I thought the group of hobbits played by Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan showed great character development as they started as mostly immature and ended up taking on this great task for one another. In my mind, it doesn’t get any better than Viggo Mortensen and Sean Bean. Aragorn seems like a very difficult character. I read that they twice offered the role to Daniel Day Lewis, actor extraordinaire, but I think Mortensen played it with a badass poise that could not be duplicated. Bean’s character took may turns in the film and it eventually led to his fate, and we all know how great he is at playing dead on film.
All in all, a wonderful experience. I can’t wait to binge watch the films, play all the extra features and finally read the books. Also, The Fellowship of the Ring is currently free to watch on Google Play (it may not be anymore, but check for yourself).
Ugh, guys, I really want to live in the Shire.
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