There are only a handful of films that have made such a major and everlasting effect on the world of cinema like Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy managed. The first film, The Fellowship of the Ring, broke ground with its incredible ensemble cast, mesmerizing fantasy world and revolutionary visual effects. Indeed, what Peter Jackson managed to deliver here is an epic film that is truly astounding.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a marvelously directed picture by the able craftsmanship of Peter Jackson. It is based on the famous J.R.R. Tolkien book of the same name and is adapted to the screen by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens. Being the first part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring tells the story of Frodo (Elijah Wood), a Hobbit, who is joined by eight companions with the sole mission of destroying the One Ring at Mount Doom. It is an action-adventure fantasy lasting a whooping 3 hours and 48 minutes.
The way that Peter Jackson has accomplished the impossible task of filming these beloved books must be greatly admired. He has taken a complex and multi-layered book like The Fellowship of the Ring and created a fantastic film. The extended edition of the film, especially, provides a lot of depth that Jackson had to cut out from the theatrical release. The film now feels even more coherent and effective in this edition.
He has managed to supervise the large ensemble cast and helped them deliver many memorable roles and scenes. One scene that particularly highlights this is the moment the fellowship is finally formed. It is a scene that gave all of the actors space to bring their characters alive, thanks to Jackson.
The pacing of the film is excellent, despite the long running time. It could have easily become a bore-fest but is certainly not. Every scene in the film has something interesting to grab the viewer's attention.
This is all without taking into account the absolutely gorgeous shots that Jackson takes of the mythical world of Middle Earth. One scene that sticks out to me is when the characters, paddling on boats, encounter two gigantic statues of previous leaders. A breathtaking scene, to say the least.
I could keep going with how Peter Jackson has delivered a fantastic film. Suffice to say, it is one of his masterpieces.
The Fellowship of the Ring is also blessed with one of cinema's most talented ensemble casts I have ever seen. It includes: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd. A diverse cast that adds a lot to the greatness of this film.
Playing the main role of the hobbit Frodo Baggins, Elijah Wood is instantly likable as he gives his character a lot of warmth. Frodo is a somewhat naive but brave hobbit who decides to take it upon himself to rid Middle Earth of the dangers brought by the One Ring. It is easily Wood's best performance in his entire career. I highly doubt he will be able to give a better one in the future.
There is also Ian McKellen playing the essential role of Gandalf, the great wizard. I do not think there would have been a better actor to cast for this role. It has now become an iconic performance by McKellen and for good reason too. Gandalf is the old and wise companion to the group. They seek his advice, wisdom and approval. Ian plays the role perfectly, giving his character the rightful role of leader and mentor.
The film could not have chosen two better-looking female elves as they did with Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett. The former plays Arwen, the daughter of the Elf leader Elrond (Hugo Weaving), while the later is Galadriel, a towering beauty who aids and supports the fellowship on their difficult journey with her unique wisdom. Both are very welcome additions to the cast.
The remaining actors all deserve praise as they have all given viewers of The Fellowship of the Ring much to enjoy and be entertained with. With such a large and dynamic cast, it is no wonder then that this film is considered a classic already.
Another crucial element to the success of the film is the use of visual effects. Here, Peter Jackson wisely chose to mix between live-action and computer-generated visual effects. This resulted in action scenes that are very real and not artificial whilst the computer-generated effects helped make Middle Earth a believable and realistic place to a very great extent. Weta Workshop, based in Peter Jackson's native New Zealand, designed and produced all the props in the film. They fully deserve all the awards and recognition they received as a result of their work in this film.
The Fellowship of the Ring kicked off one of cinema's most loved and admired trilogies to have ever come into existence. It does all the things that successful first films do: introduce the major characters, highlight the main story-lines, and set up the events of the upcoming parts.
I especially love the craftsmanship gone into making this film. Jackson has created a masterpiece here that I thoroughly enjoy revisiting. The opening sequence in The Shire, for example, ranks amongst my most-loved scenes with its mix of comedy, drama and sheer entertainment.
There is no doubt that The Fellowship of the Ring is an epic film that everyone should and will enjoy. It is surely a great film.
- Elijah Wood (as Frodo Baggins)
- Ian McKellen (as Gandalf)
- Cate Blanchett (as Galadriel)
- Sean Astin (as Samwise Gamgee)
3 hours and 48 minutes
Action / Adventure / Fantasy