The Lord of The Rings | 20 Years On
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Elijah Wood, Sean Austin, Viggo Mortensen, Ian Mckellen, Orlando Bloom, Domenic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Sean Bean, John Rhys-Davies, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis
Instalments: The Fellowship of The Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of The King
"A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to"
It’s more than fair to say that the Lord of The Rings trilogy is essential viewing. Peter Jackson and his team created a masterpiece back in 2001 that is still beloved by millions now. At 20 years old, each part of the films from Tolkien’s storyline to the special effects and production have aged extraordinarily well and continue to provide entertainment to the Lord of The Rings fandom.
The films follow the journey of young Hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), and his eight companions known as the fellowship of the ring as they journey from The Shire across Middle Earth to Mordor on a mission to destroy the one ring. Created by Sauron, the ring threatens to cause the destruction of Middle Earth if reunited with its maker and the only way to prevent this, is to take it to the one place it can be destroyed. The place where it was made, Mount Doom.
A fitting name for a volcano that can cause the destruction of an entire world, the mountain is accurately portrayed in the films. Frodo and Samwise are the only ones to see the mountain up close, and that only happens after the friendships and relationships of the fellowship have been established in the first film. The second and third are more dedicated to the battles and the issues faced by each of the members of the company.
The latter two instalments of the trilogy show us more of the friendship between Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) while they journey through Rohan. They also allow more time for the development of the unlikely friendship between Legolas and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) and for fans of the books, this was a welcome focus based on the rivalry between the Elves and the Dwarves.
Casting was exceptionally well done in this franchise, there isn’t a single moment where as a viewer, you question the acting or don’t believe what you’re seeing. Lord of The Rings really draws you into an entirely new world and still, 20 years after its release, it continues to have that effect on people. As a highly talked about film, it’s not surprising that it’s getting a new series dedicated to another part of the world.
Tolkien created more than just a series of books, he created an entire world and Peter Jackson’s recreation of them was exceptionally well produced. Even the lines written by Fran Walsh, a screenwriter who was working on the films were constructed and woven into the narrative in a way which makes it impossible for the majority of people to tell which lines are lifted from the original books and which have been written purely for the film.
The Lord of the Rings franchise dominated the Oscars with the release of all three films, winning categories such as best cinematography, best visual effects, best-adapted screenplay and even best picture. All three instalments of the trilogy are all-around timelessly classic films and changed the film industry greatly. Having all been produced simultaneously, the bonds formed between the cast and crew members are evident in the acting and the way it has been produced, which only makes them more enjoyable to watch.
As well as the plot which manages to be complicated but easy to follow at the same time, the friendships of the cast make the relationships of the characters more convincing and only makes it more difficult to not become absorbed in the world of Hobbits and Wizards and Elves. The attention to detail in every aspect of the trilogy highlights the passion behind the film’s production, and further makes the fantasy of Middle Earth become more of a reality.
The CGI of the film, from landscapes to ghosts and other monsters and even Gollum (Andy Serkis) is exceptional in 2021, let alone in 2001 when the film was released. It’s no surprise that it picked up an Oscar for the visual effects. Weta Workshops in New Zealand are behind a lot of the realistic props and set design for the film, but credit is due to the entire team who worked on the series. Each and every part has been produced to the highest standard and deserved the incredible number of awards received.
The Lord of the Rings is certainly essential viewing and should definitely be on your watchlist if it isn't already! From the plotline to the a-list cast, the trilogy handles an incredibly famous story extremely well and has inspired so many people over the last 20 years.
“There is only one Lord of The Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power.”
Words by Chloe Pollard.
Trailer from YouTube - Movie Clips.