This is a review of “The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring” but John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.
The dark, fearsome Ringwraiths are searching for a Hobbit. Frodo Baggins knows that they are seeking him and the Ring he bears – the Ring of Power that will enable evil Sauron to destroy all that is good in Middle-earth. Now it is up to Frodo and his faithful servant, Sam, with a small band of companions, to carry the Ring to the one place it can be destroyed: Mount Doom, in the very center of Sauron’s realm.
Certainly it is impossible not to compare the book and the movie. For example, Gandalf was the one who wanted to go to Moria, Aragorn against it. Caradhras was a sentient-ish mountain that defeated the fellowship, not Saruman’s spell (at least not as far as I’ve been able to find in the Appendices, but I might be wrong). And a whole host of dialogue has changed ownership. Not all of these latter ones are bad changes, but they do shift one’s view of a certain character sometimes at least a little bit.
Sam, Merry and Pippin planned to come along from the start, gives them more credit. Movie ruins that a bit I think, as does the fact that they exchanged Glorfindel for Arwen. She would never be strong enough to face the Nine all alone, but the movie had a certain amount of time to build up the romance, and Arwen is barely even mentioned in this first book. It is understandable why the movie makers made the choices they did.
Of course, there are some minor negatives as well, it has to be admitted.
There is surprisingly little difference between personalities of the different characters, except for Sam. It takes a long time to really differentiate between the Fellowship and get to know them since everyone sounds more or less alike. It also has to be admitted that Tolkien likes taking his sweet time in getting from one point to the next, and it can get a wee bit annoying occasionally, especially if one isn’t prepared for it. His writing style is also old-fashioned and can be a bit difficult to read.
It is fully understandable why Sir Peter Jackson made the choices he did for his movie, it would have been impossible to make the movies if he was going to stick to the book 100%. I am amazed at just how many seemingly tiny, insignificant details from the books that he managed to pack into the movie.
In the end, I have to say that both book and movie have their bad and good sides, and that is okay.
I still like them both equally.