Monday, February 13, 2012

To The Movies: Fellowship of the Rings

When a storyline from a book is turned into a movie, the movie becomes its own text. The basic storyline may be the same, but when changes are made in order to fit the movie within a time limit or to highlight an element or theme that the people involved in the movie feels is important—they make the story their own. I will focus these features on movies made based on books I have read—I want to look beyond whether I think the movie is better or worse than the book. I want to appreciate and review the movie as a companion to the book.


Genre: Action & Adventure, Fantasy
Actors: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, and Orlando Bloom
Director: Peter Jackson
Scriptwriter: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson
Date DVD Released: August 6, 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Info: IMDB
Order Online:
Rating: 4 Stars
Borrowed the movie from the library. 

In A Nutshell:
Even though I loved the entire trilogy--I have found that I appreciated this one so much more after I have read the book.  The details came together so much clearer after having exposure to the richness of the details, the back stories, and the language of the book. 

I still remember going to the movie theater the week this movie came out.  I sat there staring up at the screen in amazement at the beautiful scenes, the enchanting characters, and the compelling storyline coming to life before my eyes.  And then I saw Orlando Bloom--with blonde hair and elf ears--and I was in for the whole series.

But now that I have read the book, I can definitely see what all the fuss was about when these movies were released.  The book, the back stories, the magic make the effects of the movie stronger and more compelling.  I just wish it was in the theaters now--so I could have appreciate the big screen effects even more.

There are some major elements from the book that are omitted from the movie--the Tom Bombadil storyline jumps out at me in particular.  But since that was the part of the book I really struggled with every time I have tried to read it, I did not find the omission took away from the experience for me.  But I have heard others criticize that this omission was substantial in their eyes.  I also do not remember Arwen playing nearly as large a role in the book, but I get the impression from things I have read that she does play a larger role in the later books.  So I was not as concerned to see her increased role in this movie.

The movie did end in a different place than the book ended, which may have stood out for me more because I have only read The Fellowship of the Ring. But I strongly suspect that this movie's ending overlaps with the beginning of the next book.  And I think I like the choice because I feel like it ties the two movies together very nicely.  Well maybe nicely is not the right word--because what happens is really horrible (but I will not spoil it for all of you who have not read the book or seen the move yet).

Is there anyone who has not read the book or seen the movie yet?  Am I the last person to read this book?

I cannot wait to read the next book so I can watch the next movie with new eyes:


  1. I really love both the movie and the book. Even with the liberties they took, it's amazing how close to the books the movies really are. Hollywood has a habit of creating a lot of one-liners for the movies, but with LOTR, the best lines are actually in the books. And, of course, all of the visual effects are just stunning.

    1. I completely agree with you about the visual effects being stunning! I could watch this movie over and over because it is so wonderful!

  2. I LOVE LOTR!!! I absolutely love the movie. I had a hard time getting into the books, but they we're good. Can't wait for The Hobbit.

    1. I am so excited that they are bringing so many of the same actors back for The Hobbit. It is going to really feel like a prequel to the LOTR movies!