“There is also life.” – a review of ROTK

by Oct 30, 2004Reviews

I am a sucker for details. Those little things. That’s why I was so pleased with FOTR. Sure old Tom was missed, but even Tolkien himself said he didn’t have a big part. And actually by the time I got to Shelob’s Lair in the Two Towers, I had almost forgotten him.

But that’s off subject. This is a review of ROTK. I remember being a little ticked off at the films not explaining how Gollum found the Ring. So there I was in the movie theater and I see a worm. For two seconds I think, “What in the world?” And then I see Andy Serkis’s mug stretched across the screen. “Smeagol Deagol!” I almost exclaim. Have you ever seen a film where you can see the text in your mind as you’re watching the action? That’s what it was like for me in FOTR, mostly in TTT, And very much so in ROTK.

Sure there were some things. Frodo sending Sam away made my favorite scene impossible to see. That scene is when Frodo says, “Sleep…Even here I could sleep.” and Sam says,”Sleep then, Master. Lay your head in my lap.” To this day, that part in the film is still my least favorite part of the trilogy. But by sending Sam away, we see more clearly the treachery of Gollum and Sam’s undying loyalty. So there were good things and bad things in the change.

The one actor who in my oppinion really got to shine his light was Billy Boyd. He really got rolling in the Palantir scene. Fans who own The Lord of the Rings; the Making of the Movie Trilogy by Brian Sibley know that all the Palantir is is a blue glass ball with a little (or a lot) of digital magic. So if you can imagine Billy Boyd with that ball looking like he’s in terrible pain and rolling around on the floor seeming to be having spasmisms and nothing to go on but his imagination, it really shows you what a good actor can do. His next notable scene was with Gandalf on the balconey in which he expressed every soldiers’ thought. “I don’t want to be in a battle, but waiting on the edge of one I can’t escape is even worse.” Then there was the song for Denothror (sorry if I spelled it wrong). That song expressed hope, but at the same time it was hauntingly sad. Boyd’s The Edge of Night rivals Enya‘s May It Be and Aniron. If Boyd ever decides acting is not for him, he’s got a firm career awaiting his in the music industry.

I’ve heard a lot about Aragorn finally accepting his role as King, but only because Arwen is deathly ill. First he’s been acting on and off as King during the whole trilogy (most notably Helm’s Deep). But let’s apply a little symbolism here. Aragorn is Jesus the King. The Church is often portrayed as the Bride of Christ. Revalation tells us that the King (Jesus) cannot marry His Beloved Bride (the Church) until anything that could hurt her is destroyed. Hmm, sound familiar? Aragorn is protecting Arwen from anything that could hurt her. By the way Minas Tirith also represents the Church.

Everyone talks about how great Sean Astin did as Sam. I will not dwell on this long; I’ll just say, “Great job, Sean!”

Liv Tyler portrays the second Tinuviel to perfection. The most beautiful scence in the film for me is when Arwen is taken aback by something she has read, she collasps on her day-bed, and the book falls from her hands onto the autumn leaves.

Miranda Otto portrays the warrior princess to a tee. Her best scene is when she runs to protect the wounded Theoden.

Elijah Wood gave us a little glimpse of the face of evil in the scene in Mt. Doom. I know it’s been said before, but those eyes are a gift from above.

To make a very long story short, this is one of the best films I have ever seen. It is in a dead even tie with a film that came out this year, stirred up a lot of discussion, and was directed by Mel Gibson. In case you don’t get it, ROTK is tied with The Passion of the Christ.


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