Year of the Rings By Hilary Williamson, December 2001
If I hadn't read the books first I would sum it up as a cross between Harry Potter and World War I. Having re-read them often over the last thirty or so years, and been disappointed once by their translation to the big screen, all I can say is Wow, how did they pull this off? I bought advance tickets a couple of weeks ago, and three generations of my family (all Rings fanatics) lined up together to see the first episode, The Fellowship of the Ring. After the months of anticipation of this film, we had all tried to prepare ourselves for some disappointment, but there was none, not one iota.
We did not want the show to end and would have cheerfully sat through six more hours to watch the full trilogy on screen. The casting was superb, with not one false note. The hobbits were lifesize, the action fierce and frightening (according to my kids, 'Balrog was best, and so cool'), the acting excellent. The movie was as true to Tolkien as anyone could possibly achieve, except that the book allows its readers, and the Fellowship, to catch their breath from time to time, lingering in the havens, enjoying R&R at Rivendell or with Tom Bombadil ... speaking of whom, we all missed old Tom.
We can't bear to wait another year for The Two Towers and will be lining up again next December for episode two. We can't wait to see Ents in (slow) motion, the Riders of Rohan, the towers of Gondor, and the continuing adventures of Frodo, Samwise, Merry, Pippin, and assorted Big People. And, (something I've never done before), I plan to head back to the theatre to join the Fellowship for a second viewing ... once the adrenalin dies down. IMHO, TIME should re-consider their candidates for Man of the Year - forget bin whatsisname, this has been the Year of the Rings!
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