Films that changed my life

FILMS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE: Lord of the Rings

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Artwork by Charlotte Southall

By all accounts, The Lord of the Rings is not something I should like. I’m not too big a fan of the fantasy genre. When The Lord of the Rings first came out, I didn’t want to see it because I didn’t like Harry Potter and I assumed it was too similar. (Which, I know, is considered to be a sin against humanity. But I’m one of the few in the world who didn’t read or enjoy Harry Potter books as a child)

I’m not quite sure what finally prompted me to borrow The Fellowship of the Ring from my neighbor. But it was one of the best decisions of my life. I fell in love with the tranquil Shire and simple life of the hobbits; I was on the edge of my seat when Gandalf fought the Balrog; I cheered when Aragorn killed the evil Uruk-hai. Even with the long running time, I was shocked when it was finally over. “That’s it?” I had to see the rest of the series right away. I immediately got my hands on the next two. The sheer epic-ness of the Return of the King absolutely floored me. I was hooked.

I don’t know what enraptures me so much with this story. The sheer scope of the story, a good vs. evil tale that leaves the entire fate of the world on a precarious balance, is enthralling. The film itself- from the art direction, to the music, to the actors, everything is just spectacular. Peter Jackson was able to take what was considered an unfilmable book and legacy and turn it into one of the greatest trilogies and films of all time. (Also, the best way to watch The Lord of the Rings is totally a marathon. It’s quite amazing to see where each character goes from the beginning to the end of the 12+ hour films. )

What I love the most is truly Frodo’s storyline, and his relationship with Sam, the heart of the story. The trajectory of his journey is a huge arc. Frodo goes from a happy and quiet hobbit to a quiet and wounded soul. In a moment of courage he elected to carry the fate of the ENTIRE WORLD on his shoulders. Holding the ring wore on his mind, body, and soul. But Sam was there for him every step of the way. The entire Mount Doom sequence is a moving and cathartic moment for the audience to see the final culmination of Frodo and Sam’s long, taxing journey. Of course, I love pretty much every storyline and character that the world of Middle Earth has to offer.

I’m planning a trip to New Zealand to go on a two-week tour of all the filming locations. It’s my absolute dream, but it’s taking me a long time to save up the money because it’s so expensive. But I know that one day I will be able to go to the home of Middle Earth.

I wish I could be more eloquent as to why The Lord of the Rings affects me so much, but truthfully I don’t know myself.  It’s just an amazing work of film and story that has somehow managed to touch my heart. I’m so glad to have this 10+ year obsession and love of the magical and mythical world of dwarves, elves and hobbits in my life.

By Caroline Madden


CAROLINECaroline was raised out of steel in the swamps of Jersey, a 23-year-old film junkie and feminist. She loves anything from the feel-good Hollywood classics to slasher films, from the magical Studio Ghibli to Vietnam War movies. Her favorite director is Martin Scorsese, especially when he’s directing Robert De Niro. It’s nearly impossible to pick her favorite movies without listing tons of them, but a few of them are Amadeus, King Kong, When Harry Met Sally, Raging Bull, The Godfather, Jaws, and An American Werewolf in London. Her absolute favorite will always be The Lord of the Rings. Her tumblr is cinematicvisons , she blogs about film at cinematicvisions (same name, different place) and her twitter is crolinss.

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