What made Middle Earth come to life?

March 22, 2011
A black screen. Soft, almost haunting, music slithers its way in as a woman’s deep, resonant voice begins to speak—first in Elvish, then English. The words, The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring, appear on the screen. The woman begins to tell a story of the past; which tells of the One Ring and the evil it brought to Middle Earth . . . until it disappeared. Long years pass, and the One Ring remains hidden, until a certain Hobbit stumbles upon it quite luckily and takes it for his own. And then the real story begins.

The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring has captured the love and appreciation of many viewers, including me! This story has all the elements: battles, peace, a love story, an adventure through the wilderness, an emotional journey, and many suspenseful scenes where the characters barely make it out alive. The director of Fellowship, Peter Jackson, continued making all the right moves by choosing the best cast of actors, having prime locations, and sticking as close to the novel as he could.

Jackson had an all-star cast for Fellowship. Not one actor disappointed. All the actors portrayed their roles with amazing detail and depth. They brought life into the story, and made the audience believe it was all true. Some of my favorites were Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins), Sean Astin (Sam Gamgee), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Billy Boyd (Pippin Took), Dominic Monaghan (Merry Brandybuck), and Viggo Mortenson (Aragorn). These actors took on monumental roles with so much conviction and passion. They also got along great with each other off the set, as seen on the Extended Addition Special Features. When actors can get along with one another off the screen, there is a special bond between them when they are on.

No blue-screens for their backgrounds! Jackson had all of the actors fly out to New Zealand to shoot their film, which made the movie seem more real to the actors as well as the audience. They shot everywhere imaginable: from snowy mountainsides, to dirt roads hidden from all civilization, to their trailer park. All of it looked and felt real. Now, comparing this movie to a more recent one, like Avatar, the locations and depth in color seem to dull a bit. Even the special effects used in Fellowship seem a little off. But, no one should compare the two movies—they were made at different times, by different directors, and it used the best technology it could, which made it stand out from all the other movies made at that time.

When I think of Fellowship, I think of the amazing actors and fabulous plot line. But others might just get intimidated by the length of 178 minutes, and not give it a chance. I say who cares about length! If it is a good movie, it will be worth the few hours.

Fellowship was first a book created by J.R.R. Tolkien between 1937 and 1949 (Wikipedia). It gained many fans quickly, and when people heard there was to be made a motion picture about it, the fans got greater. However, there are always some anxieties about books becoming movies: what if the director has the wrong actors? What if he cuts out this scene? What if it is cheesy? When Fellowship finally came out, people were glad it was far from cheesy, and surprised at how close to the book it was! Fellowship had direct quotes and the length of the movie let them squeeze in as much as they could. The only thing people seemed sad about was a beloved character who wasn’t put in the movie; Tom Bombadil. He had been in a few chapters in the novel, but never mentioned in the movie. Why? Because Jackson felt like it wasn’t going with the main plot of the movie. Other than that, Fellowship was a huge success!
But it doesn’t end here. Jackson made two movies following Fellowship and they were just as good, if not better! Jackson created life in Middle Earth with his right choices for this movie. I couldn’t have imagined it better myself. I give props to all the actors—they were just fabulous! This is a must see movie, and it has a little something for all kinds of people. The screen fades to black.





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