By Isabel Sinnot
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a movie that can be watched countless times without becoming dull due to the epic instrumental themes and impressive cinematography, coupled with the exciting plot and strong acting. The Fellowship of the Ring is the first in a trilogy of adventure fantasy movies directed by Peter Jackson and starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen and Sean Astin, which is based on the book The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein. The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy was nominated for 30 awards, 17 of which they won, and The Fellowship of the Ring itself won 4 out of the 13 that it was nominated for in a variety of categories, including the ones for Cinematography and Original Score.
The Fellowship of the Ring follows Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) as he, along with eight companions, travel across Middle-earth to destroy the One Ring, a powerful artifact that the Dark Lord Sauron wanted to use to take over Middle-earth. The movie starts out by depicting the picturesque Shire, where Frodo lives. Soon after Frodo receives the One Ring, he is forced to flee the Shire and travel with his friends Sam, Merry and Pippin to Rivendell, home of the elves, where they could be safe from the Ringwraiths, Sauron’s servants. However, once they arrive it is soon concluded that keeping the One Ring there is not safe, and it must be taken to Mount Doom, in the heart of Mordor, to be destroyed forever. Frodo becomes the Ring Bearer, tasked to carry the Ring across Middle-earth, and accompanied by 8 others, he sets off to destroy the Ring before he succumbs to its corrupting power.
One of the most memorable parts of the Fellowship of the Ring was the music. Howard Shore composed the score, using the London Philharmonic Orchestra as well as vocal and instrumental soloists to create leitmotifs, or musical phrases or themes, that were repeated often throughout the movie to symbolize and represent characters and locations. The Shire Theme is one theme that shows up multiple times and repeats again in other songs like “The Breaking of the Fellowship”, and “In Dreams”, where Shore twists the song by slowing it down and adding vocals to change the song from feeling peaceful to melancholy and sad. His scoring creates the epic feel of the film, adding to the powerful sections and creating moments that are sad and nostalgic alike.
Another impressive aspect of the Fellowship of the Ring is the cinematography. The Lord of the Rings was filmed in New Zealand, and is very visually impressive, due to the combination of wide panoramic shots contrasted with close ups and shots from unique angles. Characters are framed against the sky so that all you can see is their shadows, or framed in soft beams of moonlight that illuminate them while creating a soft nighttime feel. The cinematographer for the Lord of the Rings, Andrew Lesnie, also included shots that focus on the Ring itself instead of directly on the characters to highlight the importance of the Ring.
I enjoyed watching the Fellowship of the Ring, as well as the sequel movies The Two Towers and Return of the King. All three of these films effectively utilized epic musical phrases coupled with sweeping views of the New Zealand mountain ranges to create the feel of Middle-earth as a real place. The acting in this movie was also very impressive, as nothing felt overacted; the actors made it so that I was absorbed into the world that the story took place in and became invested in the stakes of the film. I would recommend this movie to anyone, but especially to those who enjoy high fantasy and adventure movies, as this is sure to be a movie that you would love. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is available to watch on Hulu or HBO Max with a subscription.