14 February 2011

Scenes I Like A Lot - Fellowship of the Ring

The Movie:
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

What's Up:
The Fellowship - Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pipin, Gandalf, Legolas, Aragorn, Gimli, and Boromir - are in the midst of their walkathon to Mordor to do that whole drop-the-ring-in-the-fire-and-destroy-Sauron (!) mission thingy. Frodo falls back, and upon getting up, realizes he had dropped the ring. As Frodo searches his body, he sees Boromir pick it up from the snow, enchanted by the small thing. Everyone watches with fear and hesitation at Boromir, who holds up the ring, mesmerized, and Aragorn pleads for him to give it back. The spell breaks, and Boromir relents. He still hasn't passed his test.

Why I Dig It:
The LOTR trilogy is full of powerful, emotional, tension-filled moments, but this specific one leaps to the mind quicker than the others. Thanks to director Peter Jackson and actor Sean Bean, the weight of that moment, the thought process of Boromir and the seduction of the ring at that moment is not lost on the audience, to the point that we're questioning just what the hell is going to play out. When we see him pick up the ring, we're pretty much thinking "Oh shit!" You just know Boromir isn't thinking about destroying the ring, but using it (albeit to destroy Sauron), and having it in his possession...oooo, chilling. Aragorn's mistrust, Gandalf's interest, Frodo's fear, and Boromir's seduction and subsequent withholding - all masterful.

It's only a minute and twenty seconds long, but the time Boromir spends entranced by the ring and the possibilities it holds - it feels like forever. This scene reminds us the temptation of the ring, it reminds us that anyone - the Fellowship included - can be vulnerable to its power. It serves its greater importance in that regard, while also staying true to the established characters. For one minute and twenty seconds, FELLOWSHIP became a horror movie, with the One Ring the demon that is luring its victims in, and Jackson directs this scene with terrifying perfection. And thanks to the actors and Howard Shore's chorus added to help with the spooky uneasiness, one has solid gold with Boromir's seduction.

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