The legendary story of adventure, quests, love, magic, and fellowship. To many, the legendary adventures of Frodo and the game are immortalized in the epic film franchise crafted by Peter Jackson, whose world crafting and adventure were the stuff of legends as the realm of Middle Earth was brought to life. Yet what about the man who imagined it all up, who came up with the language to give birth to the fantasy world beloved by so many. Well, tonight’s film hopes to give some insight into his life and perhaps motivate us to craft our own tales through the journey he took. Robbie K here to craft another review as he takes on:
Movie: Tolkien (2019)
Picking Out Things
SUMMARY: A biopic such as this requires engaging performances to bring the legendary figures to life and fortunately this movie has brought it’s cast together to form its own fellowship. Hoult’s group bonds with that English wit, full of fun and sarcasm as the brotherhood forms with each passing year. Lily Collins as the love interest is a usual role for her, but the direction grants her some options to bring out her motivational monologue skills that were a wonderful compliment to the struggles Hoult portrays in the legendary writer. This duos chemistry is impressive, capable of bringing the tale to life.
Of course, we need to see the vision of Tolkien’s mind brought to life so that we can potentially get an idea of how he viewed the world to make his own world. Director Karukoski achieves this through the use of a number of camera work, special effects and audio tricks to help make this come to life. The result is that the movie is an artistic wonder, bringing the dark designs of Jackson’s work and simplifying them into a version that seems to match the “hallucinations” of Tolkien’s mind. As the story evolves and more of his journey begins unfolding, the movie continues to evolve the art style to show the beauty of the hero’s journey and the struggles about discovery. All the beauty of the life events and symbolism of what each part of Tolkien’s life meant in relationship to his works makes is captured in the wonderful cinematography and acting, all blending together to portray how the spirts of the art work in the harshest most brilliant ways. To help add that extra magic, the music they chose in the forms of sonatas, piano work, and dynamic music pieces was something I particularly liked the most. Captivating scores are what add that emotional beauty to me as well, almost mirroring the inner soul of the characters involved.
Yet all the artistic licenses they took in this movie, the thing I particularly liked was the treasure hunt of references to the book in Tolkien’s life. In his journey for the Hobbit, Tolkien is all about dropping hints of motivation for his world and the characters that inhabit them. Some of the hints are obvious in the mind’s eye sequences where the beasts and creatures manifest in some weird hallucination, while others are a little harder to pick up, hiding in the common dialogue or background much like the elusive treasure his series is about. It’s that element that adds a level of fun to the movie for the fans like me to help offset some of the slower parts to the film.
A Little Too Artistic
A little disjointed
Perhaps Over Dramatized
Not Quite the Quest I envisioned.
My fellow reviewers are right in the terms that Tolkien may be a bit boring for the common audience member and much of this has to do with the very thing that makes it beautiful, the artistic presentation. Tolkien’s pace is about hitting key points of his life and some of these moments don’t have quite the entertainment aspect we’ve come to love as an audience. Instead the disjointed moments are sort of skipped, tied together in his memories as he goes through the war, are a little too nonlinear causing a semi-coherent story about how he came up with work. The fact that the ending is predictable makes the constant circling around the obvious ending a little tiresome given the pacing.
Yet the biggest dislikes have to involve the missing that movie magic that makes the entertainment factor for the movies some of the most enjoyable. I needed that cohesive story and liberties to help glue the story into a cohesive tale that wasn’t so artistic and a little more direct to help capture the spirit of the quest. I was hoping that we would see more of him walking through the world with an eye for his motivation, sort of seeing the story’s writing as he planned it out. Instead, getting caught up in the life drama and how he struggled to write was not quite the quest I had envisioned upon watching the trailers for this film. Without this uniting quest and cliché look at the creation, the artistic liberties got a little too in the way of the storytelling which is going to limit the audience scope they may have looked for.
Tolkien is a beautiful film, showing that much like Tolkien’s journey, artistic splendor is all about the journey to find the strength to create. It has fantastic acting, great use of audio and visual works to make it a symbolism of beauty and wonder, and does enough subtle hinting with the references to make it the treasure hunt mentioned at the beginning of the movie. And yet, while it is the strongest part of the movie it also puts a lot of limitations on it as well. The movie gets lost in the symbolism and artistic license, making the film a little more segmented and denser than what most will look for and limiting the audiences scope. Therefore, this movies is not going to be for the common fan and would recommend checking this one out at home unless you are a diehard Tolkien fan.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.5