chambanzi -> RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films (19/2/2013 10:15:55 PM)
19. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)
Director: Peter Jackson
Adapting an incredibly long book into a big screen epic is no easy feat. Peter Jackson managed it…three times (and technically as any die hard LOTR fan will tell you it is six books as each book is divided into two.)
Simply writing a review for this film has me scratching my head, where do I begin? What parts can I manage to talk about in such a review? What parts do I miss out? Hell this is how Peter Jackson must have felt…
"It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such a little thing"
So our story begins at the shire where we have the hobbits. Gandalf explains the plot to us and off the hobbits' embark on they’re quest which at first seems nothing more than a camp bit of fun. In fact one thing I am glad of is that Peter Jackson did not fully adopt the folksy campiness of the books, he kept the spirit alive yes, but he toned it down. Along the hobbits journey we get some dangerous encounters with Ringwraiths and meet the mysterious Strider but the film steps up when the hobbits arrive at Rivendell and we meet the fellowship of the ring. Every casting choice was perfect whether it was Ian McKellen as Gandalf or Orlando Bloom as Legolas. Seeing John-Rhys Davies as a dwarf seems comical considering the size of the guy but no man could have played the role better (nor dwarf for that matter.)
The film ends with the death of Boromir (who actually dies at the beginning of the Two Towers in the novels.) This scene is one of the standout scenes of the trilogy for me. Boromir was always a controversial character, one whose lust for the ring could lead him astray but he dies a hero. As for those Lurtzes they are horrible things.
"A red sun rises, blood has been spilled this night"
I remember being very excited about the second film. I had not known what to expect with the first but knowing how much I loved the characters I was sure to love the second. And I did.
What I love about the Two Towers is the camaraderie between Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. You can see how much fun the actors had with the roles given to them and it really casts a positive shine on the movie. Here is not just a collection of films but an experience had by the cast, crew and direction and shared with the world. I particularly love the elf and dwarf’s counting game.
But a three- hour film that is part of a franchise needs to add some new fantastic characters and we get that with the introduction of Faramir who replaces that missing void Boromir left behind as well as the Ents, King Theoden and Saruman’s slimy, slippery spy Grima Wormtongue.
However the real star of The Two Towers is Gollum. I would not have been able to cope with Frodo and Sam’s adventure if not for good ol’ Smeagle. That is not to say I didn’t like Elijah Wood or Sean Astin (they were both suited for the roles) but the characters just drive me up the bend. I can’t decide who is more pathetic. For me Gollum is a spectator (almost like the sardonic narrator from Come Dine With Me) providing social commentary on how tiresome the duo can be. Frodo’s whimpering ‘Sam I’m tired’ attitude and Sam’s puppy faced motherly retorts ‘Dooon’t worry Mister Froooodo’ would be unbearable if not for Smeagle’s ‘STUPID FAT OBBIT’ cries.
"You gave away your life's grace. I cannot protect you anymore"
Return of the King is everything the finale should be; the beautiful cinematography of the first two films is upheld and we are treated to some epic battles. Merry who was always my favourite hobbit by process of elimination (yeah not keen on the ‘fool of a took’ either) really earns his stripes by entering the battlefield and kicking some ass and Aragorn makes a battle speech to rival William Wallace. My only complaint with the final installment is that we have sat there for a large portion of time and invested many hours into the franchise as a whole, things finally seem to be wrapping up, Frodo reaches Mount Doom then we receive a ‘No I can’t do it’.…. JUST THROW THE RING IN THE FIRE!!
Fortunately Smeagle does (albeit not out of the goodness of his heart) and finally the ring is destroyed.
At first I felt the relief then quickly I realised this meant no more Fellowship. Frodo must depart into the land of the undying. Gimli and Legolas will provide no more banter and the legacy of Gollum is over (well not quite because Peter Jackson worked backwards didn’t he?)
Over the years I have returned to each film and gained enjoyment out of each one every time. The beauty of the films being so long is that there is always a scene you may have forgotten. The sheer beauty of the whole experience is overwhelming. Peter Jackson created a world, no a universe. Tolkien is the genius who thought up the idea but Jackson is the guy who came in and made all this. Of course he had a lot of help from some very talented people. Those responsible for the costume design did a remarkable job and the score for the film is overwhelming. Some pieces from the soundtrack haunt you; some themes capture the heroic optimism of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli galloping over the rocks and other scores seem to capture the history of middle earth and help mould it into a real place. New Zealand is the perfect basis for such a fictional world; the forests, fields and streams are simply breathtaking. What a gorgeous country.
After the film the majority of the actors who played characters within the fellowship got a fellowship tattoo. This is because there will never be an experience quite like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ again, ever.