I wanted to call this post, 'do you remember the first time' but I didn't want readers to get the wrong idea.
I remember the first time I watched The Fellowship of the Ring. It was 2001 and had wanted to see the film, the 'big' fantasy film that I had read about. I wasn't reading Empire magazine regularly back then, but I used to collect the free magazine from my local Cineworld and I was interested. I had already read and listened to the BBC radio drama of The Hobbit and I was told by my mum and aunt about other J.R.R Tolkien books. So, as I said, my interest was peaked. I was outraged my family had gone to see the film without me. I badgered my dad to take the next weekend. It felt like going to see any other film, I was excited, I was allowed popcorn and it was on the big screen.
From the second the film started (not joking) I was in awe.
From the moment I heard Galadriel's voice say, 'The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was, is lost, for none now live who remember it.' I was hooked. I think one of the greatest advantages was, going into that film, I knew little of the story and it was so well told, I didn't need to ask any questions throughout, everything was laid out for me to enjoy. I loved the characters, they all had spirit and their own stories and destinies. The scenery was beautiful, the music provided the perfect emotions for every scene, situation or personality. It was breathtaking. You cannot replace that feeling you have when you see the film that changes your mind.
I've always loved film but I had always wanted to act. Lord of the Rings changed that for me. Although, a few months earlier I had seen Moulin Rouge, which also played a large part in my mind changing experience, but really it was LOTR.
There was an emotional journey while watching The Fellowship of the Ring. I remember being really annoyed when Merry and Pippin first tagged along, but they turned out to be my favourite characters. When Gandalf fell in Moria, the cinema was silent. I knew his character from The Hobbit. I couldn't believe he was just, killed off. I thought pace changed and everything felt unbalanced, but with further viewings, it was needed. I was in despair when it took 3 arrows to take Sean- I mean Boromir down. There was a small part of me that hoped he'd still get up and run after the Uruk-Hai. But alas, 9 became 8, then 8 became 7. When everyone began splitting off into groups, I could feel the end coming but I didn't want the story to end.
After the film, I was tad annoyed by the cliffhanger at the end, until I released The Lord of the Ring was trilogy. I had a million questions, mainly if Merry and Pippin (my favourite characters) survived. I called my aunt, who was an expert on the books, as soon as I got home. She leant me The Two Towers, I read it as fast as I could. I needed answers. I was obsessed with Tolkien. Middle Earth. The Lord of the Rings. I went to see the film 3 times. I begged my dad to find it on pirate VHS. Yes, it was that long ago, VHS was the way to go.
I was 12 and I went to an all girls secondary school. I read Empire magazine. I loved Lord of the Rings, at that time and that age, I could be seen as a bit of an old ball. But I didn't care. When I was told it was a 'boys' film, I argued back. A film cannot be categorised as a male film, you can say more 'boys' would watch it but 'girls' can still watch it too. As you can guess, teenagers didn't want to debate this subject that less interesting things to discuss.
All I wanted to do was talking about the film.
I would still defend LOTR to ends of Middle Earth and the trilogy holds a very respectful place in my top ten films (they count as one). I don't believe its over the top to say, it is one of the greatest trilogies ever made, three of the greatest films ever made. It's been over 10 years since The Fellowship of the Ring was released and the films have not dated. Other film fans, critics and enthusiasts would agree with me too. Unlike when I was 12 years old, sitting in class holding my Tolkien dictionary, I am not alone.