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''All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.''
In a small village in the Shire a young Hobbit named Frodo has been entrusted with an ancient Ring. Now he must embark on an Epic quest to the Cracks of Doom in order to destroy it.
Viggo Mortensen: Aragorn/Strider
Elijah Wood: Frodo
Ian Mckellan: Gandalf
2001 begins what would soon be one of the best trilogies to ever grace films and one of the best book trilogies ever written adapted. Yes, obviously I'm speaking about you've guessed it; The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.
Peter Jackson adapts J.R.R. Tolkien's novels using a faultless screenplay from Fran Walsh.
Vibrant characters, gritty realistic fantasy and Middle Earth brought to life by the beauty of New Zealand and WETA workshop.
It must also be said that Fellowship has one of the best prologues I have ever seen in in my life; The creation of the Rings and the battle against Sauron sends chills up my spine everytime I witness it.
The WETA effects, camera work, editing, sound and Orchestra work by Howard Shore are all dripping perfection.
For this piece of work Howard Shore has created and drawn out a truly beautiful soundtrack to accompany the movie visually. In truth, you can listen to the CD alone and experience the movie, just close your eyes. Howard brings all of the epic moments from the movie to life through the art of music.
To tell the story of LOTR, the cast of the movie was required to do much more than just act but had to tell an epic story of human struggles and emotions, ranging from anger to joy to sadness which spanned over 10 years for the cast and crew. The acting in this movie is beautiful, and nearly flawless. The characters are fleshed out and believable, the relationships are hypnotising, and it is as if the audience experiences everything and is part of the ensuing adventure.
''Our people, our people. I would have would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king.''
The casting drew together a small group of seasoned veterans, including Christopher Lee, Ian McKellan, and Ian Holm, giving the film a solid backbone mixing experience with life and vitality. The other characters are also played out beautifully, especially that of Sean Bean's Boromir. The relationship between he and Mortensen make the story of the movie all the more real.
The part where Boromir is dying and Aragorn is comforting him is one of the most emotional and tear inducing scenes ever captured upon film.
As is Gandalf's ''You shall not pass!'' struggle against the Balrog; His fall into darkness will make you cry when the music combined with the drama hits you.
Sean Astin and Billy Boyd also deliver sound performances, but the most unique aspect of the film is the relationship between Sean Astin and Elijah Wood. Seeing the making and the Extended Version, it is much easier to understand, but Astin forged a friendship with Wood during filming, and this was able to make the close bond of the two in Fellowship even more real and powerful.
In 3 hours, Jackson has crammed everything essential from the first novel & then some into the film, rewriting some scenes & dialogue with lesser characters for the leads, leaving out only what there wasn't enough time for. Basically, you have two 90 min. movies running back to back. There are no slow spots, just one climax follwed by another.
From the opening backstory where the Dark Lord Sauron is shown on the battlefield wiping out men & elves 10 at a time with each swing of his mace, it will capture your soul. The romance between Aragorn, mysterious ranger of the North, and Arwen, daughter of the elf-lord, is fantasy romance, timeless and eternal, will capture your heart.
The story, sets, costumes, score and sound effects are so rich, you'll see the film many times to absorb the beauty of all. The unspoiled New Zealand locales are spectacular, providing a variety of environments to represent the different settings on the characters' journey. The location sets are imaginative, detailed & weathered, adding to their believability, while the studio sets match them in meticulousness. The costumes are at once familiar & strange, drawing on both the medieval & the fantastical, but more important, they're also functional & practical. The music by Howard Shore is appropriately sweeping, Celtic and folky in keeping with the novel, although it lacks the memorable themes of John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith, but succeeds in eclipsing or rivalling their work in Howard Shore's own style and uniqueness.
In conclusion and in essence, Fellowship & LOTR can be credited as many things, because it does something incredibly challenging and does it exceedingly without flaw or exception. Peter Jackson had to adapt from a series of books, he had to capture Tolkien's unique World from his books, he had to deliver a vivid and real world full of gritty earthy fantasy, and it required its cast to deliver brilliant performances full of emotion, relationships, and conflicts.
They all succeed. Fellowship won 4 Oscars for it's Cinematography, music, make-up and effects.
Watch Theatrical or Extended Versions both are perfection.
''One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.''
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