ReviewWriter: Kevin WeeWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast:
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It has been said that the world is divided into two groups of people (as far as the much-hyped about The Lord of the Rings is concerned): those that have read the book and those who are going to read it. Although I believe that movies adapted from novels always fail to capture the essence of the literature itself, Peter Jackson did a brilliant job in adapting the detailed and descriptive legendary tale written by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Welcome to the world of orcs, Uruk-hais (the improved orcs), elves, dwarves and men of Gondor. Meet also the peace-loving hobbits, seemingly the tiniest and most insignificant of all creatures, but whom Tolkien has elevated to be the 'stars of the show'.
The main character, hobbit Frodo Baggins is portrayed seamlessly by Elijah Wood while Sir Ian Mckellan's performance as Gandalf the Wizard is worth the applauds. Look out also for the resplendent beauty of the elves, Arwen and Galadriel as portrayed by Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett respectively.
The story revolves around Frodo the 'RingBearer' who together with Gandalf the Grey, Aragorn (also known as Strider), a human raised by elves, Legolas the elf, Boromir the prince, Gimli the dwarf and his three faithful hobbit friends, Merry, Pippin and Samwise, embark on a quest to destroy the Ring in order to protect Middle Earth from the clutches of Lord Sauron and his evil allies.
It is interesting to note that although the set and special effects were extensively and elaborately designed, Peter Jackson did not allow these elements to overshadow the acting, which is impressive in conveying the foreboding tale.
The story includes state-of-the-art CGI effects, such as Gollum, an entirely computer-generated creature and a spectacular display of fireworks. Because of Tolkien's detailed descriptions of elements in the book such as its weapons, the movie has taken the effort to form 'workshops' to produce actual weapons based on the novel.
Experience the ethereal environment of the faded grandeur of Rivendell, the Elven refuge. Note the intricate details of the Celtic-influenced sculptures and arches. Shot mostly in New Zealand, the movie boasts of beautiful, breathtaking picturesque countryside scenes against the backdrop of magnificent mountains.
Tolkien's story has all the elements you would love to see in a movie and it is captured and concocted well by Jackson. Action, suspense, adventure, thrills and twists in the plot.
At certain points, however, the movie seems to come to a standstill to accommodate emotional scenes. But it is part and parcel of the whole package. Besides, the movie also make good use of flashbacks, although I personally feel that one constantly repeated flashback scene is a bit overdone.
The soundtrack is incredible. Mostly melancholic music by Howard Shore, which suits the mood and feel of the movie, the music manages to depict the happy, sad, tense moments, full blown actions and seat-clutching suspense.
The movie slows down towards the end. Its offering of 2 hours and 55 minutes may seems a bit draggy for some people. Being the first part of a trilogy, the movie has to end with an abrupt ending, which I already preconceived. As for those without this foreknowledge, you may be shocked and even dismayed.
All in all, the movie left a lasting impression in me, mainly because of the many themes portrayed such as courage, friendship, loyalty and single mindedness. Finally, I leave you with one question. Will you be under the spell of The Ring? Watch and decide for yourself. Cinema Online, 23 September 2008