Making the Grades
Long ago, rings of power were forged and given to the dominant races of Middle Earth: Elves, Dwarves, and Men. In secrecy, the wicked Sauron forged a master ring, one mighty enough to overtake the others and potentially rule the world in darkness. Through calamities and strange events, the talisman falls into the unlikely hands of Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm), a Hobbit--sturdy childlike people.
During his gala birthday banquet, Bilbo puts on the innocent looking gold band and unexpectedly vanishes in front of the assembled guests, leaving his young nephew Frodo (Elijah Woods) to inherit all of his possessions, including the ring. Saddened by his uncleís departure, Frodo seeks comfort and counsel from Gandalf (Ian McKellen), the wise family friend who identifies the ring's horrible origins. Fearing that Sauron will come searching for his lost possession, the great wizard advises Frodo (and some faithful companions) to flee their peaceful homeland.
However, evil agents are already on their trail. Pursued by dark riders, the Hobbits are forced to team up with a mysterious stranger named Strider (Viggo Mortensen). The reluctant adventurers make their way to Rivendell, a temporary safe haven, where a grand council decides the ring must be destroyed by returning it to the fire from which it was made. With trepidation, nine chosen companions, including Frodo as the designated ring-bearer, embark on a most perilous quest.
True to the classic novel and departing only slightly from the original plot, The Fellowship Of The Ring beautifully showcases friendship, loyalty, integrity, and self-control. The rich settings and stunning special effects preserves the dignity of the novel, providing a fitting tribute to the majestic grandeur of Tolkien's imagination.
Yet, for all the excitement and marvel it has captured, parents need to be aware that this is not a movie for young children. Even older teens should note there are extended and gratuitous battle scenes. The portrayal of the Orc creatures and other villains are frightening, gruesome, and may disturb some viewers.
Prospective ticket-bearers will need to carefully weigh violence versus nostalgia before setting out on their quest to the theater.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring.
In the movie, Frodo despairs over the fateful events that have forced him to become the ring bearer. The wise wizard reminds him that no one gets to decide their circumstances, but they can choose what they will do with the lot they are given. How could that counsel apply in your life?
The Elf Queen preaches that even the smallest person can change the course of the future. Do you agree with her?
Director Peter Jackson’s past cinematic achievements have been in the slasher/thriller genre. Do you think his background had any effect on his film adaptation of Tolkien’s literary masterpiece?
Don’t forget The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and The Hobbit can be found in most libraries. Encouraging your children to read the books, or reading them together as a family, may be a good alternative for those who admire Tolkien’s tales of good versus evil but are concerned about the film’s content.