‘The Lord Of The Rings’ is a fantasy/adventure trilogy which is built up from three parts: ‘The Fellowship Of The Ring’(2001), ‘The Two Towers’(2002) and ‘The Return Of The King’(2003). It is based on a three-volume book of the same title by an English writer J.R.R. Tolkien. The trilogy was directed by Peter Jackson and distributed by New Line Cinema. It took eight years to accomplish the project, which is considered to be one of the greatest and most ambitious in the history of the cinema.
The cast includes the following actors and actresses (the main characters only): Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins), Sean Astin (Samwise „Sam” Gamgee), Billy Boyd (Peregrin “Pippin” Took), Dominic Monaghan (Meriadok “Merry” Brandybuck), Ian Holm (Bilbo Baggins), Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Liv Tyler (Arwen), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), John Rhys-Davies (Gimli), Hugo Weaving (Elrond), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Sean Bean (Boromir), Christopher Lee (Saruman) and Andy Serkis (Gollum).
The Fellowship Of The Ring
In the Second Age, Middle-Earth is attempted to be conquered by the Dark Lord Sauron who has got One Ring under his power. The battle between Elves-Man alliance and evil forces finishes in Sauron’s being destroyed by Isildur who cuts off the Ring from the Dark Lord’s hand and brings his army to the ground. However, Sauron is not beaten permanently, since his life force is bound to the Ring. Soon after the victory the power of the Ring takes over Isildur’s soul and leads him to death. The Ring remains hidden for 2,500 years until it is found by Gollum who owns it for another centuries.
The turning point takes place when the hobbit named Bilbo Baggins finds the Ring and brings it to his homeland, Shire. Sixty years later, the Ring is given to Bilbo’s nephew, Frodo and from now on things get complicated. The wizard Gandalf finds out the origin of the Ring and makes Frodo abandon Shire in order to escape from Sauron’s forces which were sent to bring the Ring back to his master. Frodo and Samwise Gamgee (who was caught eavesdropping Frodo’s conversation with Gandalf) set off to Bree bumping into two more hobbits, Merry and Pippin, on their way.
In Bree Frodo gets to know a mysterious man named Aragorn who offers his help to defend and lead hobbits to Rivendel, the land of Elves. On their way they are attacked by Sauron’s servants, the Nazgûl, and Frodo gets deadly injured. He is saved by the Elf Arwen, who leaves the Nazgûl behind, by using her magic powers, and brings Frodo to her land where he is healed by her father, Elrond. Later on a council, in which representatives of diverse races loyal to Middle-Earth participate, takes place in order to decide what should be done with the Ring. It is revealed that the Ring can only be destroyed by throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom, where it came into being. Frodo volunteers to take the Ring and he is accompanied by Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, and Aragorn. Later on the Elf Legolas, the Dwarf Gimli, and Boromir, a man of Gondor join them and form the Fellowship of the Ring.
They travel through the dwarf Mines of Moria, where Gandalf falls in the battle with Balrog, an ancient demon of fire and shadow. The group, lacking one powerful member, heads for Lothlórien, where they are sheltered by its rulers, the Elves Galadriel and Celeborn. That night, Frodo is told by Garadiel that it is his destiny to destroy the Ring.
The Fellowship continue their journey being chased by Saruman’s corps of Uruk-hai. At some point Boromir’s weakness is revealed. He starts to desire the Ring and tries to take it from Frodo who manages to escape. After being attacked by Uruk-hai, Boromir looses his life, Mary and Pippin are captured and Frodo, followed by Sam, decides to leave the Fellowship. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli set off to rescue Merry and Pippin.
The Two Towers
While Frodo and Sam continue their journey to Mordor they are attacked by the creature Gollum who wants to get the Ring back. Frodo feels sorry for Gollum and asks it to be their guide to Mordor.
In Rohan, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli chase the Uruk-hai, however, it turns out that the enemy’s army has beed destroyed by Éomer (the king’s of Rohan nephew). Luckily, Merry and Pippin manage to escape and hide in the shadows of Fangorn forest (the land of Ents).
In the meantime, King Théoden, the ruler of Rohan, has been badly influenced by Gríma Wormtongue, who is a secret servant of Saruman.
Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli decide to follow Merry and Pippin and on their way through the forest they bump into Gandalf who survived the battle with the demon and transformed into Gandalf the White. Later on four friends arrive in king Theoden’s land and free the ruler from a destructive power of Saruman. After being cured, Théoden decides to move his people to the stronghold Helm’s Deep for safety.
Meanwhile, Frodo, Sam and their guide, Gollum are captured by Faramir (Boromir’s brother) and his people. Later on the capitan gets influenced by the destructive power of the Ring which leads him and his people to the fight with Saruman’s servants, Nazgûl and Orcs. After the battle is won by men, Frodo and his companion are set free.
As Théoden’s forces travel to Helm’s Deep, they are attacked by Saruman’s Warg riders and Aragorn is thrown from a cliff and believed to be dead. However, he washes up on a river bank and makes his way to Helm’s deep.
In Fangorn Forest, Merry, Pippin, Treebeard and other Ents participate in a council to decide on the role of the Ents in the war with Saruman.
After a long battle in Helm’s Deep, the victory goes to men, but it is only one phase of a great fight between forces of good and evil.
The Return Of The King
Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Théoden join with two “lost” hobbits, Merry and Pippin, in Isengard where Pippin’s curiosity leads him to take a look into one of the magic rocks, palantir, and reveal his mind to Sauron. According to Gangalf, the Dark Lord has plans concerning the invasion of Minas Tirith. The wizard accompanied by Pippin sets off to meet with Denethor, the current ruler of Gondor (Boromir’s and Faramir’s father), and persuade him to ask Rohan to join them in fight. Gandalf’s request is declined. Against all orders, Pippin, having Gandalf’s support, lights a warning beacon letting Aragorn and Théoden know that help is needed.
Aragorn is given the sword Anduril which helps him to acquire the service of the Army of the Dead, which is obliged to serve the heir of Isildur. The army gathered by Aragorn turns out to be the last hope for warriors defending the gates of Minas Tirith. In the battle king Théoden looses his life.
In the meantime, Frodo, Sam and Gollum head for their destination. Gollum finally manages to persuade a confused Frodo that Sam wants the Ring for himself and consequently Frodo sends his friend back home. Although Sam feels heartbroken, he does not abandon Frodo, since he discovers Gollum’s plans. Monster’s real nature is finally revealed and Gollum betrays his “master”. It leaves Frodo in the lair of a giant spider, which chases Frodo and in the end paralyzes him. Frodo is found by Orcs and taken to Sauron’s fortress from where he is saved by Sam. After escaping from Orcs’ hands two friends continue their mission.
Aragorn and the rest of his army want to distract Sauron’s attention and attack the Black Gate of Mordor.
Frodo is out of strength, but the aim is very close, so Sam carries him up the volcano. When they finally reach the place, Frodo’s resistance to the Ring vanishes and he wants to keep the Ring for himself. However, he is attacked by Gollum who desperately wants to get his treasure back. During their fight both fall over the edge, but only Gollum falls into the lava taking the Ring with him. As the Ring reaches the lava of Mount Doom, Sauron is destroyed along with Mordor.
Aragorn becomes the King and reunites with his beloved Arwen. After many years have passed, Frodo together with Gandalf, Bilbo, Elrond, Celebron and Galadriel leave Middle-Earth and set off to the Undying Lands.
When I think of the ‘Lord Of The Rings‘ trilogy there is one word that immediately comes to my mind – amazing. I did not use to be the fan of fantasy elements in films or books, but this film has opened my eyes to this new genre, which I have started to like a lot with time. The story is very close to the original plot of the book that it was based on. People responsible for creating the film did not show off with their imagination by modifying the original story. They just created an incredibly good film version of an already existing one.
The plot is what I would like to start with. Interesting, engrossing and well-constructed. The quest to destroy the Ring is just a surface. It is the main and the most important element of the story, but when you pay attention you can easily notice that there is something deeper under this surface. There are plots within the plot, which joined together build up this wonderful whole. Firstly, we have got the story of friendship. The power of cooperation and feeling responsible for each other are emphasized. Frodo probably would not accomplish his mission if it had not been for Sam’s presence. The fellowship would not reunite after being separated if it had not been for true friendship and commitment. Secondly, the motif of love has an important role in the film. The love which is not easy, which demands a lot of sacrifice, both a literal and metaphorical one. Arwen decides to give up her immorality in order to accompany Aragorn in his short, mortal life. As she says to her beloved one “I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone (…) I choose a mortal life”. For Aragorn Arwen is a shot of strength and hope, a light at the end of a tunnel when it seems that all hopes and dreams have vanished. Their being reunited at the end of the story shows that love is so powerful that it can exist and survive even in the hardest times. Finally, the third element incorporated into the main plot is the story of Frodo himself. The story that shows how one little creature, hidden from the world behind the walls of a peaceful Shire, can change the history and fight against the most frightening evil. It shows that the strength of one’s heart and its resistance to evil may be stronger than swords.
Next thing worth mentioning is the setting. Landscapes of New Zeland seem to be a perfect place for a fantasy story. The views are simply magnificent. At times beautiful and breathtaking, at times mysterious or even frightening.
A few words need to be devoted to acting, which is one of the strongest aspects of this film. The cast was chosen perfectly and every actor and actress did a very good job. They are very reliable playing diverse characters, which makes viewers et into the film even more.
Last but not least, the soundtrack. Music in the film is very interesting and intriguing. It introduces an appropriate mood in every scene. From happy and trivial sounds, through mysterious notes to spooky, even frightening melodies. It is certainly a very important aspect of the film.
Summing up, the film is definitely worth recommending not only to fans of fantasy, but also to people who are not very fond of it. Maybe they will change their views on this genre, just like I did after watching ‘The Lord Of The Rings‘.