I’m going to chime in pretty late in the day with my thoughts on The Fellowship Of The Ring.
Of course I saw the film as soon as it came out but I didn’t want to just post my initial reaction.
I saw it in Arizona in a very small cinema. I found it puzzling that the six screen cinema at the shopping mall couldn’t spare a single screen for the highest grossing film in the country, forcing myself and the rest of Sierra Vista to make the trip to the rundown theatre on the outskirts of town.
If I had arrived a couple of minutes later, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get a seat. As it was, the only seat available was in the second row.
Now, this wouldn’t matter in one of those modern cinemas where everything slopes down and there are no bad seats. But this was not a modern cinema.
The seats were uncomfortable and there was no air conditioning. By the middle of the movie, it was extremely hot and stuffy.
I’m recounting all this to show that viewing conditions were far from ideal. I don’t think it would really be fair to judge a film seen under those conditions.
That’s not the only reason I wanted to see the film again, though.
The first time I watched the film, I found it hard to enjoy it on its own merits. I kept comparing it to the book.
I’m sure it’ll come as a surprise to nobody that, being the geek that I am, I’m a big Tolkien fan.
Star Wars… check,
Monty Python… check,
Open Source programming languages… check,
Macintosh computers… check,
So, of course, I was being very academic and comparing book and film, scene by scene. Even as I was doing it, I knew I was being unfair to the film. After all, nothing can ever compare to the images conjured up in my own mind by the book.
Still, even under such unfavourable conditions, I enjoyed the film. It didn’t blow me away, though.
That was three weeks ago.
I went to see The Fellowship Of The Ring again today. It blew me away, completely.
I was able to enjoy the film on its own merits (and in comfier surroundings). It is a superbly cast, well paced, beautifully directed work.
To any fellow geeks out there who were less than impressed on first viewing the film, I urge you all to see it a second time.
No, it’s not the same as the book. It is however, completely true to the themes of the book and it shares its spirit.