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The lord of the rings...

Movie Review: The lord of the rings
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, Viggo Mortensen

"The Lord of the Rings" is an epic fantasy so fully realised that most viewers will feel like rising up from their seats and stepping into the realm on the screen as it seems to exist as a real place.
"The Lord of the Rings" takes place in Middle Earth, a world populated by humans, elves, dwarves, wizards, evil goblins called orcs and half-sized folk called hobbits, who (at the time the tale begins) mostly keep to themselves. However, one uncommonly adventurous hobbit, Bilbo (Ian Holm), has come across a ring in his travels. Unbeknownst to Bilbo, this is the One Ring with the power to enslave the whole of Middle Earth should it fall back into the hands of its maker, Sauron, a thoroughly evil entity who almost laid waste to the world in ages past and is now preparing to

wage war anew on everyone and everything. If there is to be hope of defeating Sauron, the Ring must be destroyed by throwing it into the fires of the volcanic Mount Doom in Sauron’s stronghold of Mordor. The task falls to Bilbo’s innocent nephew Frodo (Elijah

Wood), who winds up accompanied by his staunch and likewise untried hobbit friends Samwise (Sean Astin), Meriadoc (Dominic Monaghan) and Peregrine (Billy Boyd), the gruff dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), the elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom), brave human Ranger  Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), ambitious nobleman Boromir (Sean Bean) and wise wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen).
The cast all play their roles absolutely straight, with Wood,  Astin, McKellen and Holm special standouts. Cate Blanchett, in the relatively small role of Galadriel, has immense authority, and Christopher Lee is a superb choice for the haughty, corrupt wizard Saruman. Grant Major’s production design and the costume design by Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor are so completely

detailed that every frame persuades that one is looking at the products of cultures that have evolved over millennia. The cinematography by  Andrew Lesnie has a beautiful, burnished sheen, glowing ever so slightly. In darkened scenes, such as those

taking place in caves and darkened halls, the imagery is almost leeched of color, but even when we’re in the brilliant greens of the hobbits’ homeland the Shire, there’s a hint of sepia that gives everything a long ago and far away quality that makes us feel all the more that one is being transported to another realm.
The visual effects, supervised by Jim Rygiel, are as complex and intense as ever seen, with a plethora of overhead shots that give life to landscapes created partially or entirely within computers. One stunning camera move takes us from the top of a high tower to plunge down into the bowels of the earth, where monstrous warriors are being brought forth. An effect used continually that calls

no attention to itself because it is so seamless makes the normal-sized actors playing hobbits appear half the height of their colleagues.
The sound is splendid. There are sequences in which the theatre literally, physically fills with it, as in the opening battle depicting a

clash of might between Sauron’s massed hordes and the allied ranks of elves and men. As thousands of figures charge forth and weapons clash, the air vibrates, creating waves of tangible impact. The effect is replicated in avalanches, the roar of a fearsome demon called a Balrog and on the rare occasions when Sauron speaks. Howard Shore’s score supports the emotion behind scenes but never upstages the action (unlike, say, the score on "Harry Potter"). There are also two songs by Enya, who has precisely the right ethereal voice to croon words in Elvish (Tolkien actually invented entire languages, reproduced in places throughout the film, for the non-human characters).
Overall, this film is one of the greatest fantasy films ever made and is worth a watch for people of all age.


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