The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Evil has awoken once more, and the Dark Lord Sauron is searching relentlessly for the Ring of Power. After receiving information that the mysterious heirloom in his possession is actually the One Ring, Frodo (Elijah Wood) leaves his home to keep it safe from the wicked servants of Sauron. Along the way, a company of eight warriors is formed to protect Frodo on the way to Mordor – the only place where the ring can be destroyed.

The Highs
Where to begin? The Fellowship of the Ring means so much to me on multiple levels. I read The Lord of the Rings when I was in 7th grade, after my father introduced me to the books. I instantly fell in love with Middle Earth and all of the characters living within those pages. These movies became another thing for my dad and I to look forward to, share together, and marvel over. Needless to say, this review may be slightly biased.

The casting for this film is unequivocally phenomenal. Every actor and actress looks and acts exactly how I imaged the characters in the books. Likewise, every performance here is spectacular. Ian McKellen captured the sarcastic, wise, and loving nature of Gandalf. Viggo Mortensen portrays the haunted, self-doubting nature of Aragorn perfectly. The unconditional friendship between Frodo and Sam (Sean Astin) is infectious and heartfelt. After seeing The Fellowship of the Ring, I couldn’t ever picture anyone else playing any of these beloved characters.

The score is immaculate and iconic. The soft, emotional moments that nearly bring the audience to tears. The soaring, bombastic music that accompanies our heroes as they fight for the fate of Middle Earth. All of it is amazing, and Howard Shore will always be remembered for his incredible feat here.

The costumes. The scenery. The sets. The special effects. Every visual thing about The Fellowship of the Ring is crafted with obvious love and attention to detail. Peter Jackson and his crew really brought Middle Earth to life and made the audience feel as though they stepped into that world. I love the practical effects, and was surprised to find that most of the CGI still holds up to this day.

Some people complain about the long run-time, but I honestly feel that this film doesn’t drag at all. Every scene is packed with meaningful events or exciting action. The story never drags, and in fact I find the pacing to be perfect. Peter Jackson had a monumental task adapting the source material, and he pulled it off flawlessly.

The Lows
Honestly, the only thing I can even claim to dislike about The Fellowship of the Ring is the use of slow motion. I personally hate the effect, and find that it cheapens the scenes that use it.

Final Thoughts
The Fellowship of the Ring is a faithful and excellent adaptation of the book but, more than that, it is a means to accessing another world. Peter Jackson’s work here is wondrous, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. Very few films are able to capture the imagination of the audience the way that The Fellowship of the Ring does, and it is one of the few that can be considered absolutely perfect.

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