Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring fails to accurately depict author J.R.R Tolkien’s novel. Where Tolkien focused the story around the simple lives of the small woodland people know as the Hobbits, director Peter Jackson focuses more on the power-hungry and easily corrupted race of men.
The one aspect of the film I never understood was the fact that Jackson depicts men as a weakened race with the ability to triumph, yet he shows Hobbits as a race that relies on men for protection.
Tolkien was in many ways a hobbit himself. He embraced nature and was repulsed by the idea of machinery and fire. Why would Jackson put more influence on those the Men who created the very machinery that was used to destroyed nature? Why make the Hobbits a secondary character when the book had it reversed?
These details, although disappointing for Tolkien readers, do not tarnish the stunning visual effects, acting and overall production of the film. With a budget of $93 million, Jackson created perfection from the elaborate settings, the proper character development and the overall production.
I have stated in many other reviews that special effects are tricky and, if not used properly, could be a waste of money. Too much CGI can dilute the story and divert attention away from the characters and the plot, but then not enough CGI (especially in Fantasy films like Lord of the Rings) misrepresents what the film is all about. The film had a good balance of animation and non-animation. The animation was used properly in showing the elaborate kingdoms, the roaring fires on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm…etc
The Fellowship of the Ring does an excellent job introducing the main cast for the other two films to further develop. Like a ragged Band of Brothersin Middle Earth, you develop liking for the characters. They are not single-sided, they have quarrels and fueds, attempt to impress one another and add a bit of humor.
The purpose of the first film is to help divide the plot for the next films. What started as a fellowship seeking Mordor as one entity, turned into a duo seeking Mordor, and the remaining characters trying to destroy Mordor. This fellowship consists of Men; Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Boromir (Sean Bean) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen); the elfLegolas (Orlando Bloom); the dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies); and Hobbits Frodo (Elijah Wood), Samwise (Sean Astin), Pippin (Billy Boyd) and Merry (Dominic Monaghan).
The one aspect I enjoy the most of this film is how the ring is not just an object, it is its own character. At the beginning of the film when the ring is first given to Frodo, there is a scene where the ring is dropped on the floor, the following point-of-view shot is the ring looking up at Gandalf as if it were looking and talking to him.
The ring also has a tendency to talk throughout the film, it ‘poisons peoples minds’ and acts as a beacon of evil…very similar to way a villain would.