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Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Return of the King indeed!!

The Lord of the Ring: The Return of the King is most certainly the definitive movie of this time. It will probably have the same exposure and following as the original Star Wars episodes. The movies not only have the most amazing CGI in them but they don't skimp on story, characters and the plot. The story is riveting and the interpretation is stupendous, grand and unequaled in contemporary cinema. There is a reason why these movies are such a phoenomenon. They have all the ingredients that make a good movie great!

The sight of dead warriors overpowering the Orc ranks, or the giant Mumakil swishing their tusks at the Rohirrim or the giant burning rocks crashing into Minas Tirith they all overpower the senses and take you deeper into the war. The war is movie-making, story-telling and technology married into one blissful marriage. They complement each other so well that it is easy to forget you are watching a movie. It is a dream and every viewer is beckoned to follow the journey of Frodo & Sam and cry for the dead in battle. The sight of the men of Gondor riding in just 2 ranks running full speed toward Osgiliath with no hope of ever returning is most certainly a heartening moment that crowns these warriors in an eternal light. You are drawn into their bravado and loyalty to their leader and you hope against hope that they come out alright though there is no real hope.

Minas Tirith is a sight to behold the handiwork and artistry of sculpting. The sight of Mithrandir (aka. Gandalf) riding with Peregerin Took (aka. Pippin) all the way to the great hall of the kings makes you appreciate the scale, the sight and the sheer monumentality of the occasion. This is reinforced so beautifully everytime we see Minas Tirith. When the the light of Amun-din is lit and a call for help goes out to Rohan or when Denethor takes his final plunge to death or when the armies of Sauron file in rank to attack the sight is awe-inspiring. There aren't many words in the dictionary to describe such a sight. Jackson's attention to detail here warrants large commendations. The patience, the skill and the intricacy of the artistry in each of the locales is so minutely managed and created that there is really nothing at all to complain about. The great thing is all this detail does not just jump out at you in your face. They add to the already great and wonderfully riveting storyline and that's what makes this movie one of a kind.

There is enough in this movie to make this blog go very long; therefore, I'll limit myself to saying that if you haven't seen it yet you're missing an experience. It is not just a movie, it's an experience and it must experienced in the only way it was made to in a theater. Don't even think about waiting for the DVD to come out. This movie is for the big screen and that's where it will have to be enjoyed.

Finally a word of mention to my favorite character in the movie, Faramir son of Denethor. Not only is he one of the greatest warriors of Gondor, second only to Aragorn, but a loyal and a devoted man. He is my favorite because I identify with him and his qualities and appreciate his integrity. The sight of his father showing his disgust and hate at his life and Boromir's death is a poignant moment in his life. Of course Mr. Jackson never completes his story as it is done in the book. In case anyone wants to know Faramir and Eowyn fall for each other and get married by the time of Aragorn and Arwen's marriage. Now the king has returned and there is not need for a stewart of Gondor; therefore, Aragorn makes Faramir the lord of Pellenor. Pellenor is the land bordering Gondor and Mordor where the last great battle takes place. This is where the men of Gondor are surrounded by 10,000 orcs with no hope of ever getting out and Frodo destroys the ring to save them all.

Well, that's just about it. More parts of the review will surface here as more time goes on and more details sink in for me. I'm still under the spell after the first viewing. Will have to go in a couple more times to really appreciate the movie in all its grandeur.