"Tolkien" Movie Review
The Lord of the Rings movies are my favorite films of all time. In many ways, these films transcend greatness; they feel like magic. And it all began with exceptional source material. Unfortunately, Tolkien…a film that explores the early life of the author who created Middle-Earth…is not as exceptional.
Among many prominent themes including love, artistic expression, and companionship, language is one of the film’s chief focuses. “Words are not beautiful because of how they sound,” Tolkien’s love interest, Edith (Lily Collins), says in one scene, “but because of what they mean.” It’s a moment of lingual enlightenment for Tolkien; an enduring moment, as are many of the sequences this film is built around.
And just as interesting as Nicolas Hoult, who plays Tolkien, rambling off incomprehensible vocabulary with convincing tone, inflection, and annunciation is how the characters communicate and interact with each other. Both the young and the mature versions of the film’s central brotherhood maintain a consistent chemistry which I consider laudable.
The film as a whole, however, feels uninspired. Part of this is due to a remarkably lackluster score. And while I greatly admired the relationships built within Tolkien, the story they’re subjected to is disappointingly trite.
Near the end, Tolkien says to Edith, “You deserve happiness.” But he pauses, then awkwardly retracts the statement and proceeds with a new proclamation: “You deserve much more. You deserve magic.” Such is the case for JRR Tolkien fans. We deserved much more than what Tolkien offers. We deserved magic.
Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 1 | Story and Message - 1 | Entertainment Value - 1 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 0 | Reviewer's Preference - 1 | What does this mean?