Lord of the rings “The return of the King” is the final movie of an epic trilogy that had their shooting done at the same time to minimize costs and keep a good sense of continuity. It brings Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s classic to a dramatic close, ending the movie in a manner it deserves. The trilogy is seen as an important achievement in the film history. The ten hour movie when concluded becomes a supreme adventure, has excitements that blow the mind away and delightful to all manner of ages, taste and sexes.
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Everything ends conclusively. Frodo Baggins’ mission of destroying the dangerous enchanted ring of invisibility is successful. He is aided by the very shot Elf Legolas, gruff dwarf Gimli, good wizard Gandalf and hobbits Sam Gamgee, Pippin and Merry. The film does not start by filling the blanks left by its predecessor. It begins by going back into time when the tormented creature Gollum, possessed the ring. In the flashback, Andy Serks, who voices Gollum and performs his movements on the set before the final CGI effects, appears on the screen for the first time as Gollum’s former self, Smeagol. This scene keeps us aware of the ring’s corrupt nature because, even Frodo increasingly struggles with its dark nature. The movie then returns to the present as Frodo, Sam and Gollum journey to the forbidden Mordor land. They pass Minas Mogul, a terrifying dark city and watch as a dreadful army of the Witch King sets out for human strongholds at Gondor. They move to Cirith Ungol, where a darker enemy lies in wait.
Meanwhile, after defeating the wizard Saruman at Helm's deep and Isengard, the rest of the fellowship re-unites at Rohan. The annihilating wars of the embattled people of Rohan and Gondor against the dark wizards’ forces of Sauron, Mordor and Saruman occurring in Middle Earth, comes to an end. Also resolved, is Smeagol’s attempt to steal the ring before it’s destroyed and the ascension to kinghood of heroic adventurer Aragorn. The going back home of hobbits and the sunset coda for both Frodo and Bilbo, his once heroic cousin, also comes to a close.
A reversed shot that has smoke flowing back into chimneys and occasional lighting that is a bit off, does little to water down the otherwise special effects used in the movie. There is no simple scene as the filmed actors blend in seamlessly with both the digital characters and numerous things that seem to be happening at once. Although the filming is good, there are a few evidences of digital cutting and smoothing that might nag at the mind of a critic. The New Zealand landscapes provide excellent backdrops to the movie. The picture drenches the viewer in spectacles of the vast cinematic landscapes strewn with elves, knights, wizards and mythological monsters. Sound effects have been well utilized and this helps the viewer to bond with the movie as sound is said to make about 75% of the emotional impact of a production. The sound track also fits the movie well.
Performances are also good and the characters register strongly. Viggo Mortesen as Aragorn and Sean Astin as Sam dominate the film. They execute their roles flawlessly. Sam comes out as a strong devoted model. The white wizard had well represented dialogues but his wistful sayings led to changes in the scenes. He, however, succeeds to give the movie supplementary gravitas. Gimli continues with a humorous performance, which he does a good job at and comes off as really amusing.
Gollum is however, the character that manages to steal the show and is most memorable. He is a symbol of a ravaging appetite that wealth and power can reduce us to. Saruman the evil wizard is, however, most notably absent and his last seven minutes in the film was preserved and then cut. The ring’s trilogy is a quintessential bright boy’s tale. This does not mean that women are left out as the women befitting post feminist times take a share in the glories. The movie’s heroines remain brave and beautiful. These women include the indomitable elf queen Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), sturdy human Eowyn (Miranda Otto), the king's niece of Rohan and Aragorn's elfin ladylove Arwen (Liv Tyler).
The three and a half hours film passes by like a hailstorm of dark violence and terror, followed by the break of hope awakening sunshine. It is intriguing as the plot builds up and the interesting creatures like: - huge mastodon’s elephants, giant spiders, great-winged beasts and charging horses have a liberating wit and imagination. All these effects outline the magnitude to which creativity was employed in this piece.
The trilogy seems to be spun around the horrors of the Nazi invasion of Europe and the blitz in London as it was written mostly during the Second World War and the immediate post war era. It is a modern myth that Jackson universalizes by cinematically translating hence adorning the film with sublime imagination and operatic grandeur. The camera tricks employed in the movie outline the desired effects clearly and leave the viewer with more anxiety to continue watching the movie.
All in all, the movie is worth watching and easily passes as a collector’s item to be watched over and over again with close friends, although it would not be appropriate for small children because of the scary images, for instance, there may be five out of five decapitated orcs. The Lord of the rings will remain one of the most convincingly majestic epics. Like all great fantasies and epics, it succeeds in leaving one with the sense that the wonders of the universe are real and its dreams palpable.