Sunday, March 17, 2002

The Lord of the Rings is one big disappointment.
I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why reviewers have been giving it more stars than you can count on a clear night, and why the Academy Awards have handed it 13 nominations.
It’s got great special effects and top bracket production values. But beyond that there is little to recommend in LoTR.
I am not one for great cinema which conveys subliminal messages. I want entertainment. And that’s where the movie fails me.
The first half is pretty good, as the film introduces the viewer to the history of the ring, the unlikely hero on whom it falls to destroy it, and the motley fellowship that will protect him on his perilous journey.
The second half degenerates into an inordinate obstacle race, filled with gore and violence and the grotesque and the macabre. These lines from a review in Chicago Tribune sums it up pretty well: "The film is remarkably well made. But it does go on, and on, and on--more vistas, more forests, more sounds in the night, more fearsome creatures, more prophecies, more visions, more dire warnings, more close calls, until we realise this sort of thing can continue indefinitely."
At the end of it all, you don’t even get a feeling of catharsis, and in fact you leave the theatre with an incomplete feeling.
I didn’t even realise the movie had ended till the doorman flung the doors open. Neither did most of the crowd, who had the kind of look that said: Is this it!

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