I've been watching the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (DVD, director's cut) over the past few days. I've seen them before, but had forgotten how intense they are. And how wonderful.
Confession: I've never read the books. I know I should, and I might someday, but I really enjoy the movies. And, I feel that movies are a form of writing. Someone had to write that screenplay. And in this case, from what I understand, the screenplay was quite true to the books.
But what I wanted to highlight in this particular post are the ideas of LOTR, the nuts-and-bolts. The themes, the elements, the symbolism. They're so rich and meaningful. (I won't get too detailed, for those who haven't read the books or watched the movies).
First, the epic nature of the trilogy: I love the immense scope of it -- all the different terrains and settings (forests, mountains, caves, swamps), the characters/races (dwarves, elves, kings, trolls, orcs, wizards, hobbits), the individual storylines (dozens of them!) that actually all meld together in the end. It's a BIG, sweeping movie, and it feels....epic. In fact, you feel rather exhausted after finishing it. But in the best possible way. You've escaped into another world, an epic world, and immersed yourself in it.
Then, there are the themes. Friendship, loyalty, jealousy, sin, forgiveness, family relationships, war, honor, love (<----friendship, romantic, familial), sacrifice, good vs. evil. Those are just a few I rattled off in seconds. I'm sure there are many more. Again, epic.
And the symbolism -- though there are many symbols, the ring is, of course, the primary one. A tiny piece of metal. It looks so harmless. Beautiful, even. But it symbolizes all that's evil and wrong with this world, and with humans. When the bearer of the ring is affected by it, such a clever picture is painted, of what sin does, and how human nature is drawn to it. I especially loved (and cringed over) the "evolution" of Gollum/Smeagol that begins the third movie.
Even though this is a "big" movie/trilogy, probably the most meaningful moments are the small moments within the epic. The nuances of friendships, decisions made that seem insignificant at the time, but produce enormous outcomes with consequences.
Bravo, Tolkien. And bravo Peter Jackson, and his entire team. Both works - the books and the movies - are masterpieces. Epic masterpieces.