The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001): The Movie is Better than the Book plus An Ode To The Fellowship

Review No. : 0001
Title : The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (Extended Version)
Year : 2001
Director : Peter Jackson
Country : New Zealand | United States
World’s Verdict : Rotten Tomatoes – 97%; IMDB – 8.8 out of 10.0; Metacritic – 92%; Academy Award – Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup, Best Original Score
My Verdict : 4.1 out of 5.0

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Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, the Ringwraiths, Orlando Bloom as Legolas

Lord of the Rings! I still remember the first time I saw this back in 2001, I didn’t get to see this in the theater but on video (VHS). Haha. I was so impressed by the movie that when the next two parts of the trilogy came out I definitely watched it on a big screen. I remember when the end credits rolled in The Return of the King (2003) the moviegoers applauded, it was the first time I experienced people clapping for a movie.

It all started with The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). When I first watched the film I never heard of J.R.R. Tolkien or his books (yup, I’m that ignorant), yet, somehow some scenes were familiar as well as the plot. Then it hit me: I’ve seen this movie before! I remember when I was young I watched a very distinct cartoon movie, it was actually a serious and horrifying movie for a kid. The movie was the 1978 animated production of The Lord of the Rings. Even at a young age, I already remember liking the film and I always wondered why the story didn’t get to finish in the film (and it was already after LOTR 2001, during my research, that I found out that the 1978 film didn’t have a sequel. Maddening, right?). Anyway, back to watching The Fellowship; so I said to myself while watching, “I know the story, I remember the cartoon film before! Now at least I will know what will happen to the Ring!”. Boom! After the movie, I got disappointed because the story was cut again. So I did my research and I was glad that there will be a sequel for the next year, and not just one but two!

The Lord of the Rings is a novel by J.R.R. Tolkien divided into three parts. The first part is The Fellowship of the Ring. It tells the story of hobbits, soldiers, wizards and evil beings living in a fantasy world known as the Middle Earth. When an old evil warlock begins to resurrect himself piece by piece he gathers his minions to look for his Ring of power. The ring that could make him whole again and the ring that could make him the dominant dictator in Middle Earth. The Ring of power happens to be in a possession of Frodo Baggins, a hobbit. A hobbit is like a small being with big hairy feet and pointed ears, I’m thinking he is a cross between a dwarf and a powerless elf. Anyway, the hobbit and his friends go on an adventure to destroy the Ring.

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Lord of the Rings trilogy is my most favorite fantasy movie. It is very grand, the effects are spectacular, the actors are top notch, the music pieces are beautiful, the cinematography is just captivating.

So almost everything is good about this movie that after I watched it I bought the first book of the series. Wow, it is a boring book! I have finished it but I deferred buying or reading the second book. Until after a few years… I bought The Lord of the Rings book with all the three books combined. I had an urge to read again The Fellowship of the Ring and by Jove, it still bored me. In the middle of the Two Towers I stopped and told myself, I will consider read this boring book after ten years (Oh, no! It’s almost ten years!).

To all J.R.R. Tolkien fans out there, I’m sorry, but The Lord of the Rings may be the most influential fantasy novel ever, but it IS boring. It’s like a history book; and yes I know that it is the reason that makes it great after all because Tolkien created a world with a complete history, language and other nerdy academe elements out there.

The writing is not my main issue, it’s actually the story. The story of Lord of The Rings is very very simple. The hobbit found a ring, a wizard and friends help him to destroy it and they went on an adventure killing enemies along the way. It took a tome to tell this story.

It is not like Harry Potter which has a really good story and history, and the simplicity and cuteness of how it was written make it twenty times entertaining to read than LOTR. LOTR is incomparable to A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Martin got inspired by Tolkien’s books but he mastered storytelling and creating historical fiction. The lore and legends of ASOIAF are so much way better and interesting than the history of the Middle Earth.

Wait, what’s my point? I forgot this is a movie review. The Fellowship of the Ring is one of my favorite fantasy movies even though it does not have a good story compared to other fantasy genres. The grandness and the artistic quality the movie possesses makes you forget about the simplicity of the story. It is one of the rare occasions you can say, “The movie is so much better than the book.”

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Here is a little poem for this film (I am a frustrated poet):

An Ode to the Fellowship

Immortality and invisibleness,
The only powers this thing possesses.
Perhaps there’s more;
Perhaps control;
In the end, we can only implore.

Wizards, elves and dwarves,
Kings, ladies and men,
And Hobbits –
the love child of men and dwarves;
These are the peoples surrounding and forging of the fellowship.

In mid-earth they are formed to protect the thing.
To the mountain of doom, they are to bring
The one ring that binds them all,
The one ring that could rule them all.

Demon kings and their horses are there for the chase.
Useless and vexatious Orcs, that tend to overact, are in the race.
A Balrog, a troll and goblins are there for the kill,
But the villain of them all is a wizard, a white man;
He is Christopher Lee and he perfected Saruman.

The swords, the arrow, the knives –
Shows the cultures, the histories, the lives.
The houses, the landscapes, the strongholds,
The clothes, the ornaments, the cups –
Shows the grace, the art, the love
And the tireless efforts that are never told.

On screen, I’ve seen the play once,
But far better is the extended one.
Two or three years from now I will look for it again
For this ring has a way to find me;
Because it is a never-ending beauty
And it will never and can never be dull.
Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzumishi krimpatul.

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