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Analyse the opening of the film 'The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring', how is it an effective opening?

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Roseanne Tebbutt Analyse the Opening of the Film 'The Lord of the Rings -The Fellowship of the Ring' How is it an Effective Opening? J.R.R Tolkien wrote a book entitled 'The Lord of the Rings- The Fellowship of the Ring'. It was converted into a film in 2001, which was instantly a massive hit, and described as, 'The best fantasy epic in motion picture history' (Empire 2001). The film, 'The Lord of the Rings- The Fellowship of the Ring' has a very effective and mysterious opening. The film's genre is, fantasy/ action. The opening sets the scene and quickly captures the attention of the viewer, with its complex visual and audio techniques. This helps the audience to settle down and concentrate as the story unfolds. The film starts with a blank screen, building tension by eliminating the viewer's sight. The viewer is anxious, unaware of what is about to happen. During the blank screen, a whisper of a woman's voice is heard, this is in Elfish. The woman, Galadriel, then translates, still whispering, into English. The first words that are spoken state: 'The world is changed.' This sparks the viewer's imagination, who is left wondering how, as it cannot be seen on screen. Galadriel does not describe how it has changed, she describes how she 'feels' it. ...read more.


Galadriel's voice becomes more powerful and deep. This all relates to the dark and evil side of the film and makes the viewer aware that something terrible might, or might have already happened, in Mordor. A picture of Mordor with fires burning and Sauron's face is then shown. At this point the heavy beat of the drum is amplified, this helps to intensify the image of hell, building up tension. Sauron stands broad holding up one hand, surrounded by fire, giving his character a powerful and strong impression. When Galadriel explains about the evil within the ring, the ring rotates slowly in mid-air surrounded by fire. Portraying the apparent evil, power captured within. The tone of Galadriel's voice; which is strong, but slightly scared, somehow confirms this. Tension is increased by the vision of Sauron with the glowing ring on his finger. Galadriel then states in a deep, powerful voice, 'one ring to rule them all.' This confirms to the viewer Sauron's power over the world. On screen the mood changes completely, as screams are heard in the background. Houses are burning and women and children are running from the evil armies of Mordor. The screen then fades and Galadriel states, 'But there were some who resisted'. These people are shown on-screen, they are marching with armour and swords, the camera scans showing a vast amount of men and elves going into battle. ...read more.


Gollum is portrayed as an evil character. The viewer is shown the ring escaping the clutches of Gollum. It is then picked up by a passing Hobbit, who is unaware of its powers. The Hobbit hears Gollum crying for the ring and quickly runs away. The mountains is the last thing shown to the viewer, with the sound of Galadriel stating the Hobbits will soon, 'Shape the fortunes of all.' The introduction has now ended and the initial dramatic phase has ceased. The audience has been given a brief prologue into the history of this fantasy world, the creatures that live there and the effect the rings have had on them. With this increased understanding, the viewer, can sit back, and anticipate a dramatic story. The opening of the film, 'The Lord of The Rings- The Fellowship of the Ring' is very effective. The director has achieved much tension within the first few frames, while still educating the audience in the story's background. The director introduces the main characters within the storyline and uses various techniques to portray their personalities. This has been achieved by using music to create different atmospheres, colours and styles that emulate 'good' and 'evil'. Visual effects such as dramatic costumes, props and scenes all add to the atmosphere. The actors were able to portray their character's temperament and emotion through their tone of voice, facial expressions and body language. By bringing together all these techniques the director achieved an effective opening, that sparks the attention of its audience. ...read more.

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