Having read all 600,000 pages of the Lord of the Rings Role Play instruction book (Spanish Edition) I consider myself reasonably well equipped to review the first instalment of Michael Jackson’s adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic novel.
The Fellowship of the Ring is a film about four little Irish Leprechauns and their quest to return a piece of defective jewellery to an Argos Extra store several towns over.
Along the way they are helped by Father Christmas, who’s jolly laugh, beard and spells enliven the trip no end. Since Santa is on his jollies the leprechauns call him by his old school nickname of Merlin and he does not wear his distinctive red pyjamas outfit, preferring instead a rather more shabby grey shawl. This does nowt to refute Santa’s rep round the estate as a dirty old paedo.
The first film of this expansive and in no way tedious triptych focuses on the plights of the wee bairns as they walk through a list of fictitious names and geographical locations, encountering all manner of pixies and gnomes who insist on reciting poetry in made-up languages. A little known fact is that Roald Dahl did not accurately and painstakingly create a new language especially for the books, he just made up some words as he went along and pretended it was authentic pixie-speak. I know a pixie and he says that what you see in the films is just a crude pastiche of Sprite-ish mixed with some stereotypical Nymph-like idioms. He also said the film was the most racially offensive thing he’d seen since the Smurfs. But I thought he was being too harsh. Some of my best friends are Smurfs and they don’t mind when I call them Blue Bastards. Don’t get that humourless pixie prick started on Slavic fairies or you’ll never hear the end of it.
Anyway, Frodo Ballbags and his pals are being chased through what is essentially the Lake District by some Goths who really like cheap catalogue store jewellery and don’t want to see the ring go to waste. After a detour to visit the Peak Cavern (also known as the Devil’s Arse) in Derbyshire where they saw some rocking stalactites and bought nattie hats in the gift shop, our diminutive friends decide to get lost in the woods. It is here that they meet the wife of a drab ‘rock-star’ who has swallowed all her husband’s studio effects processors after a particularly heavy party, causing her to talk with lots of echo and behave all funny like. Cate Blanchett turns in an admirable performance as Gwyneth Paltrow.
Since Santa fell down a hole in the Peak Cavern (which boasts the deepest pitch in Britain) this rocker bird takes pity on the little lads. “Christmas shalt cometh early to our shortarse ring-bearing heroes, for fate and some mystical magical things devoid of coherence and substance decree ‘t! ” she drones, eerily before breaking into more poetry in a made-up language. She proceeds to give each of the Fellowship (named such because all of this sexist boy’s club are ‘fellows’) crappy chrimbo presents. “Does she not understand that a shitty fake gold gift was the very reason for thine quest in the first place?” cusses one of the Humanoids, anachronistically.
Still a couple of the lads get flick-knives, which might come in handy when they have to head back to the estates of County Armagh, the pixie gets a plastic bow and arrow kit and the gnome gets a pair of Paltrow’s soiled panties which he is understandably chuffed with. “These fair undercrackers shall sell for a pretty fortune on ebay methinks!” he chuckles whilst wanking into his own beard. Poor old Sam (played here by footballing dwarf Sammy Lee) gets nought but a rope to hang himself with, but fails to get the hint even when his so-called bezzie mate Frodo tries to do a runner on him. “Fuck off Sam,” spits Frodo, “This gang is only for cool people with Fila trainees and whose mam isn’t poor”.
As the credits roll the joke is on Frodo cos everyone knows Fila trainers are shit.
I give this film one ring to rule them all.
Coming soon: parts 2 and 3
See also: Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers
Tags: Argos Jewellery, bilbo baggins, Cate Blanchet, dwarfs, elves, fairies, fantast films, frodo baggins, gnomes, Gollum, JRR Tolkein, lord of the rings, Merlin, orcs and goblins, Peak Cavern, pixies, Roald Dahl, Sammy Lee, Smeagol, The Fellowship of the Ring