Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Movie Name: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Year of Release: 2003
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Bernard Hill, John Noble, David Wenham, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, Miranda Otto, Hugo Weaving, Karl Urban, Ian Holm, Sean Bean, Marton Csokas, Bruce Phillips, Harry Sinclair, Alan Howard
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
"The Return of the King" is the epic closure to the trilogy started by Peter Jackson in 2001, with "The Fellowship of the Ring". It was also the winner of most of the Academy Awards in 2003 and a tremendously successful feature financially (as were the previous ones of course). The film follows suit on the occurrences of the previous tome, "The Two Towers". Bilbo and Sam continue their perilous journey towards Mordor, with the assistance of the ever suspicious Smeagol/Gollum, coming into the arrest of Boromir's brother, who eventually realizes their quest and allows them to continue. Simultaneously Aragorn has to seek the assistance of an undead army of epic proportions to help him with his battle, while Gandalf and King Theoden have to battle the evil forces of Sauron, and simultaneously keep the last human facing city afloat, against colossal enemies. As these battles draw to an end, no one is spared, and in the end, it's up to Bilbo to finally make the decision to destroy the ring and vanquish the source of all evil.
Peter Jackson invested with this trilogy all of his technical and storytelling techniques, to create a believable and actual universe that the viewers could visualize and embrace. "The Return of the King" is the final chapter in this vast journey of bringing such a multi-layered universe to the screens, with a multitude of characters from different sources and with different arcs, all competing for attention and for dimensional existence. The director is successful, as he was in the previous installments, in making this universe feel authentic, real (as much as it can of course), and populated with characters that have motivations, and that ultimately feel humane. The story in itself is rich and a testament to the capacity of J.R.R. Tolkien's writing capabilities - the film, though at times overly long (battle scenes that go on and on for instance), is an exciting ride through the imagination of the writer and of the director, who uses the tremendous amount of production means at his disposal, to paint this fantastic canvas. It's a film where the threads are closed, and where there's enough action, drama and emotion to make it impactful and epic. The cast is uniformly good, with Ian McKellen adding enough humor, gravitas and towering charisma to make this a solid venture. The cinematography from Andrew Lesnie is stunning, as are the costumes from Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor. A solid and entertaining film from a great director.