The One Ring has been quiet for many years and now it seeks to return to it’s master Sauron. It’s up to a hobbit named Frodo (Elijah Wood) to take the ring to Mordor and destroy it.
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Christopher Lee, Sean Astin
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for epic battle sequences and some scary images
Fun Fact: Sean Connery was approached to play Gandalf but turned it down because he said he didn’t understand the plot.
For years many had wondered why The Lord of The Rings trilogy never got the cinematic development that it deserved. One of the most popular and beloved stories in fantasy seemed it would just be seen in an animated film from the 70’s. People had said it could never be done.
Enter Peter Jackson.
Peter Jackson had a vision in what he wanted to do, and it took him years to get to it. Not only did he make a successful pitch, he had the greenlight to embark on one of the biggest productions in film history with not one but, three films.
The waiting paid of and in December 2001 saw the release of The Fellowship of the Ring. I had my Dad take me to see it in theaters and when I first saw it I loved it. I just finished watching it on Netflix (theatrical version) and I still love it like I did back then.
First off let’s talk about the production values. Picking New Zealand to film Middle Earth really brought it to life. The beauty of the mountains to the forests it feels like Middle Earth is brought to life. What makes the location stand out is the cinematography by Andrew Lesnie. The sweeping shots to the wide angles make the landscape and the sets even more grand then they already are. You can’t also forget about the CGI in this film. This was the era where CGI was starting to take form as a new way to present special effects. With the budget that this series had starting with this film, the money was spent wisely on creating the effects and imagery. The make up work on the Orcs was also top notch as they give the viewer a menacing look. All these elements help drive the film visually.
One can’t forget about the casting of the characters. Big names were considered for this film and in the end, the choices made were what was best for the film. While watching the film I couldn’t see any other person playing the parts that went to the characters. Ian McKellen does a phenomenal job as Gandalf and was rewarded with an Oscar nomination for supporting actor. Viggo Mortensen was just as great as Aragorn and it would only get better from there. Elijah Wood and Sean Astin have a great chemistry as Frodo and Sam. You want to see them together on screen on this quest. The cast brings their A-Game, and everyone brings in a memorable performance that you won’t forget.
Overall, The Fellowship of the Ring is the perfect start to the trilogy and would be somewhere in my Top 10 of films. It’s a beautiful piece of filmmaking with breath taking views and top-notch production. With the perfect casting you get performances that can’t be replaced. Not only did this film boost the fantasy genre it also gave a much-needed revival of the epic genre as well.