Peter Jackson directs the opening entry in the classic LOTR trilogy, as we follow Frodo Baggins, a hobbit from the shire that sets out on a journey with his companions as commissioned by a wizard – Gandalf, with the aim to take the ring of power to Mordor and destroy it, the film stars Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Jonathan Rhys-Davies, Ian Mckellan, Andy Serkis, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Bean, Liv Tyler, Hugo Weaving, Billy Boyd, Sean Astin, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett.
The film that kicked it all off, The Fellowship Of The Ring is a wonder, being tasked with bringing a whole world of fantasy to modern audiences that may have been unfamiliar with it, having not read the books or heard of Lord Of The Rings even, Peter Jackson had a monumental task on his hands in simply adapting the massive story for the big screen but he managed to do it and to do it rather well at that. First off by getting a great cast for the film and for the roles of the main characters that we’ve now come to know and love, a mix of actors from around the world that perfectly fit their role and play up well to the theatrical, near play like drama that encompasses the story, down to the characters actions and their dialogues, casting choices like Ian Mckellan as Gandalf and Christopher Lee as Saruman – 2 wizards on opposing sides were brilliant choices and they brought gravitas to the film.
Fellowship, like the other 2 films in the trilogy has some fantastic elements to it that make the world of Middle Earth feel and look real, from the set designs to the character costumes, characters and races look distinct and unique, elves being tall and slender, dwarves short and stout – orcs rather ghoulish and dirty, these details go some way to help suspend disbelief and engross you in a fantasy world as a viewer, you also have to mention the fantastic vistas and locations present in the film as a lot of the films were shot on location in New Zealand. The mountain ranges, open wild trails etc are great to look at but also help to emphasise the sheer size of Middle Earth and the distances in between locations that the characters have to travel to.
The film has a nice sense of whimsy and adventure to it as we see the fellowship set about on their journey together as a group of 9 and it’s great to see the characters interact for the limited amount of time we see all 9 together, chased by the ghastly Nazgul all the way and because they’re so different to each other, it makes the journey more enjoyable to watch, that coupled with them running into enemies along the way makes things more interesting – as them simply trekking across Middle Earth does feature quite heavily. Fellowship isn’t all sunshine and roses though, having a mixed tone that reminds you that this is a fairly adult story of loss, death and friendship and the story has you empathise with the characters to a degree that losing one carries real weight, even though this is the first film in the series. This is due to small moments that reveal aspects of the characters, from fears to doubts and so on that show that they’re multi-dimensional and interesting. Another great aspect of the film is the score, one of the best in any film series – ever in my opinion, fitting certain scenes perfectly and making the trek across Middle Earth for the fellowship feel all the more epic, Fellowship is a brilliant starting point to one of the best film trilogies in cinema history and a great introductory piece to the Lord of The Rings story.
. Great casting choices, fantastic, convincing acting
. Brilliant visuals, great shots of landscapes to represent Middle Earth
. Engaging and engrossing story told well