“A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. He is not early either. It happens precisely when it wants. Just as Gandalf told Frodo when they first met onscreen, the world was blessed with the release of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” at the end of 2001, just as Peter Jackson wanted it. With a budget of $ 281 million and 438 days devoted to principal photography, the entire “Lord of the Rings” trilogy has set a precedent as one of the most comprehensive and impressive film ventures ever undertaken. The story of the One Ring and the Fellowship’s goal of destroying it has created one of the greatest and most devoted cultists. Truly, “The Fellowship of the Ring” changed the world of cinematography and storytelling and has continued to make an impact over the past twenty years.
One of the biggest aspects of the first film in the trilogy is its phenomenal score directed by Howard Shore. The score earned the film the Oscar for Best Original Score, one of the 17 Oscars won for the trilogy. With swooning melodies and impressive orchestral pieces, the soundtrack of the “Fellowship of the Ring” only elevates the experience of watching the group of dwarves, men, hobbits, an elf and a wizard traveling through the wonders of Middle-earth. In so many moments, this incredible compilation of compelling music is able to capture the essence of JRR Tolkein’s masterfully written work. By creating one of the most in-depth, carefully curated fantasy worlds of all time, Tolkein has already set the bar high for anyone to attempt to replicate it – but Shore’s score immerses viewers even more in the magic of Middle earth.
With the film’s individual budget of nearly $ 100 million, there’s no doubt the film had what it needed to become a thriving foundation for the trilogy. By the time of filming around the turn of the century, the film was a landmark for such a daring budget. With movies like “Titanic” making waves on a $ 200 million budget, “The Fellowship of the Ring” is breaking out as a fantasy film. In many ways, the producers took a gamble on making the adaptation of Tolkein’s fantasy epic – and clearly, it paid off. Combining breathtaking on-site shoots in New Zealand, state-of-the-art practical effects, and a cast with the talent to make it all happen, “The Fellowship of the Ring” changed the world’s expectations. for any high quality fantasy movie.
However, the film still deviates from its source material. In a perfectly understandable approach, director Peter Jackson delivered his own take on the incredibly dense literary trilogy. In the entire trilogy, Tolkein wrote over 1,000 pages. There was almost no way Jackson would be able to reasonably replicate the detail in the books, but in his own way, he managed to give the material a spin on its own while also reducing it to a comfortable viewing length. From the sheer complexity of character relationships to intricate descriptions of every flora and fauna, Jackson wisely chose to relegate Tolkien’s richness of detail to subtle nods of the head. Focusing instead on Tolkien’s central characters, and not the intricacies of his world-building, Jackson was able to transform these archetypal heroes into fleshed-out, fully realized people.
Even after 20 years, “The Fellowship of the Ring” remains the embodiment of the ideal fantasy epic. The story covers an array of beautiful and wild landscapes in distant worlds, follows incredibly well-defined characters, and brings a land to life beyond imagination. With its incredible score, phenomenal cinematography and stunning staging, “The Lord of the Rings” will undoubtedly continue to be one of the most beloved franchises of the current generation.
– Editor Mikel J. Davies can be reached at [email protected]