Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema

Like the book, the movie Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a powerful study of good and evil. The ring, forged by the powers of darkness can corrupt anyone, from the sweetest little Hobbit to the most beautiful Elf Queen. No creatures are spared the temptations of its evil especially men. The only hope for all the inhabitants of Middle-earth is to destroy the ring by throwing it into the fiery volcano of Mount Doom. But who has a pure enough heart and enough resolve to get the job done when everyone in the Middle-earth coalition, including the good wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), knows that they arenít strong enough to resist the compulsive dark corruption of the ring? Only the young innocent Hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) inspires the coalition, and they form the Fellowship of the Ring, all swearing allegiance to Frodo.

The film, like the book, is a delightful combination of fantasy and myth with real world savvy of what you must do to reduce the threat of evil in the world. First you form a coalition of states covering a wide range of cultures. In Fellowship itís Hobbits, men, Dwarfs, Elves and a wise old wizard. The coalition is essentially military in nature and as such takes the realistic approach that life is always susceptible to evil influence.

While this film will appeal to younger audiences, its greatest appeal will be to adults. The depth of the struggle between good and evil is adult in nature and all the characters are adult.

The acting and spectacular photography is so good that the audience is easily transported to the mythical fantasy world of Middle-earth and the musical score is unique, haunting and otherworldly. While the film has the ability to transport you to another world and another reality, we identify with the creatures there, because they deal with the same problems and threats that we do.

This film requires the big screen and surround sound of a theater for the breathtaking nature scenes alone. My only warning for Fellowship is that if you havenít read the book, keep in mind that the film and the book are the first part of a trilogy. If the ending doesnít seem complete itís because itís not over yet. My only hope is that the rest of the trilogy will be as well made as this first part.

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