It has been touched upon and mentioned in various publications and thrown around on the bloggersphere but as this film, well the trilogy, means a lot to me so I needed to mention it again.
The Fellowship of the Ring celebrates its 15th Anniversary next month which means it’s been 15 years since the incredible saga of JRR Tolkien’s work was brought to the screen. It is also 15 years since I first argued with my aunt about the film. She loved the books when she was younger and didn’t think much of the films. I’ll it at that. I wrote a while ago about the first time I saw The Lord of the Rings and touched how much the film meant to me so I’ll try not gush about it too much.
I used to know all the facts and figures concerning the film, scouring every inch of books about Middle Earth and all the movie guides too. I bought a Tolkien Encyclopaedia that gave the history of how Middle Earth came into being. I had the map of Middle Earth in all shapes and sizes. I even bought my first proper films poster of the fellowship walking along the mountain top. You know the bit where the music swells and they slowly and majestically, one by one look over into the distance and follow on. Looking back, I wish I just bought the map. I do love maps.
Having attended a girls school, the Lord of the Rings was classed as a ‘boys film’ so talking about it made you a nerd or a geek. There were a few people who shared my love of the film. They would go to conventions and obsess about minor characters, but this wasn’t until later. During the first film’s release, I missed the fanfare, waiting until after Christmas to go see it. My friend and I saw it three times each and we were obsessed with different characters. She liked Legolas and I couldn’t get enough of Merry and Pippin. Throughout the fandom phase I accumulated lots of merchandise, including various postcards, stationery and even the One Ring, because why not?
The film was breath-taking. A fantasy story set in a very real world. The story does fit very neatly into the one of the seven stories, unlikely hero must face and defeat evil, but it isn’t just about Frodo destroying the ring, if he didn’t have that support around him nothing would have happened. The Fellowship wasn’t just an exposition piece. Setting the ground work and introducing the characters, they all go through changes during the film and no is the same at the end before they are all split up and taken on their individual paths. Even when torn apart, they are still a fellowship.
The fact that the film was shot on location as well as studio gave the film and story something more. Although Tolkien imagined the British countryside when he wrote his stories, New Zealand IS Middle Earth and is its own character in the films. Such different landscapes and beautiful places, its no wonder you can be absorbed into the film.
Some of the best scenes in the entire trilogy is in The Fellowship of the Ring. The Balrog of Moria and the death of Gandalf weigh heavy in the final scenes of the film. It is a key turning point for certain characters but it is also a spectacular scene. Even earlier scenes such as Bilbo’s birthday party was impressive, getting to see The Shire and how Hobbits live. Rivendell too has the council scene where the Fellowship is forged and the beautiful artwork displayed in the background where the famous sword, Narsil lies. The attention to detail is felt in every scene which, to me, makes the film that much greater.
The film stands the test of time. Though there are CGI elements, these do not change the story or how you felt when you first see the orcs running through the forest towards the final fight of the film. The costumes and make up created for the film is terrifying and at the same time the elves of Lothorien are mystical and calming. It can watched over again and feel that it was released last year.
I’ve loved film since I was very young but this was the film that made me want to make films. I wanted to be there. Peter Jackson and his army inspired so many with this film alone which is why it deserves to be celebrated.