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The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

At 3 hours, 21 minutes, The Return is, in every sense, a monster epic

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
Starring: Elijah Page, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Sean Astin
Director: Peter Jackson
Rating: ***

This final leg of the cinemarathon Rings Trilogy, Tolkien's magical saga, signals filmdom's spectacular new cure for audiences with low attention spans. At 3 hours, 21 minutes, The Return is, in every sense, a monster epic. Seen in boxy movie halls with inadequate legroom, it could lead to much cramping of gluteus muscles. But Peter Jackson's riveting recreation of the final standoff between Middle-earth's assorted inhabitants and the forces of darkness makes for the most fantastic journey you will undertake.

The Return's narration picks up from where The Two Towers ended: Hobbits Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and Samwise Gamgee (Sean Austin) press on into enemy territory on their mission to destroy the One Ring—and release Middle-earth from the threat of enslavement by Sauron, the evil Lord of Mordor. Their progress is rendered the more perilous by their guide Gollum (Andy Serkis), the stick-limbed ghoul who covets the "preciousss" ring for its promise of absolute power and leads Frodo into the web of the monstrous spider Shelob; worse, the corrupting influence of the ring tests Frodo's faith in Sam. Meanwhile, the stately wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) marshalls Gondor's broken army to defend the besieged kingdom—and keep Sauron's evil eye diverted from Frodo and Sam. Vastly outnumbered, yet gloriously valorous, the motley bunch engages Sauron's fearsome army. The ferocious combat is diversion enough: a weary Frodo and Sam accomplish their mission.

For Tolkien, who saw action in World War I, the war narrative in the Rings was principally a setting for the characters to show themselves; the real theme, he said, was about "something much more permanent: Death and Immortality." To that extent, Jackson's film is unfaithful to the spirit of the book, its central theme is the war, which it unabashedly glorifies. But no matter, The Return's battle scene is arguably one of the most stunning visual spectacles ever filmed; the charge of the green-glowing, spectral army of the dead, in particular, is mesmeric. It's the best film of the trilogy. The special effects are far superior than earlier instalments, the characterisation is a lot more mature, and Jackson too has grown on the job. For my money, it should sweep this year's Oscars.

US Top 5
1. You Got Served
2. The Butterfly Effect
3. Along Came Polly
4. The Return of the Kings
5. The Perfect Score

1. Khakee
2. Munnabhai MBBS
3. Paap
4. Kal Ho Na Ho 5. Aetbaar

Courtesy: Film Information

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