Movie Plot – Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers: As Frodo and Sam draw closer to Mordor with the help of the untrustworthy Gollum, the divided brotherhood fights Sauron’s new ally Saruman and his hordes of Isengard.
Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: J.R.R. Tolkien, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, Peter Jackson
Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Bernard Hill, Paris Howe Strewe, Christopher Lee, Domenic Monaghan, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, David Wenham
The first film was a success!
Filmmaker Peter Jackson surprised friend and foe by embarking on a massive project in the late 1990s. Of course, we are talking about Lord of The Rings and in 2001, he achieved overwhelming success with the first part (of three) of this, called ‘The Fellowship of the Ring.’ He had succeeded in captivatingly transforming Professor Tolkien’s unfilmable book into cinematic language. The whole world feasted its eyes on the beautifully detailed fantasy world, the fascinating characters, and the terrifying monsters that Jackson really managed to bring to life.
The world had now finally met the hobbits Frodo (Elijah Wood), Sam (Sean Astin), Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), the humans Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Boromir (Sean Bean), elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies). After this motley crew was formed after much effort in Part 1 of “The Lord of the Rings,” they fall apart in Part 2. That’s where the viewer follows three completely different storylines. It may have seemed unlikely at the time, but ‘The Two Towers’ can stand alongside its predecessor with its head held high.
A clever middle film
It was difficult with “The Fellowship” to introduce so many characters and history to the viewer in a quick and elegant way, but “The Two Towers” has its own obstacles. As a middle film, the lack of a head and tail means the film perhaps has to work the hardest to find its own identity. When I first saw this film, it was actually my least favorite film. But then again, I was 9 years old at the time and couldn’t remember the different characters. Although, that this movie does come in 2nd place with me now.
A great deal has preceded this film, so how best to begin? Jackson opts for a running start. He clearly assumes that people who are going to watch “The Two Towers” have also seen “The Fellowship,” so he doesn’t start with a retrospective or summary of previous events. Instead, he opts for a slight overlap through the most exciting scene, namely Gandalf’s fight with the Balrog. It’s a brilliant solution.
The film begins very quietly, floating along snow-covered mountain peaks, when suddenly the voice of Gandalf is heard softly, working on his great confrontation in the heart of one of the mountains. “Go back to the shadows!” The shivers were already run down the viewer’s spine. Suddenly you are sucked into the mountain and find yourself in the middle of the battle again. Not long after, the viewer sees what happens when Gandalf falls into the abyss and the excitement only intensifies. It’s a wonderful entry by Jackson.
Jackson has a difficult task ahead of him, story-wise. After all, the traveling party has broken up, and so he must now balance three separate storylines with each other.
Overall, this is done very admirably. Sam and Frodo have their hands full with the schizophrenic creature Gollum, who is actually the star of the film. Furthermore, you follow Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, through their search for Merry and Pippin. Last but not least, Merry and Pippin end up with a bunch of walking, talking trees, who might also get into the action.
The only downside to these three storylines is that they want to create chemistry between certain characters, but I just don’t feel it. The focus is a bit all over the place and these elements are somewhat senseless. Even scenes that are supposed to be sad don’t hit me in the feels.
A darker movie
‘The Two Towers’ has a very different tone than ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’. Literally and figuratively, the film is darker. ‘The Fellowship’ had a fairy tale feel and locations while ‘The Two Towers’ is quite dark and drab in tone, focusing on the human world. Wars, manipulations, politics, kings and shield maidens: yes, we really have entered the age of chivalry.
We are introduced to the brilliantly crafted and acted character Gollum. A character who sticks out the most in ‘The Two Towers’. I do have to admit that I always have a hard time looking at ugly creatures and Gollum is no exception.
The best storyline is that of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, and their support of the people of Rohan, who dominate. The pinnacle heir of this is the battle in Helm’s Deep. This is central to the film and is most secure castle in Middle Earth. For a long time, the fight is only talked about or lived up to, but this only adds to the tension.
Best of all is the rivalry between Gimli and Legolas who sometimes view the wars as a sport. Whoever has the most kills wins!
Let’s talk about Gollum. This pitiful creature, who is always looking for the Ring, was then a marvel of computer animation. By now, the motion capture technology has been used frequently (as in ‘Avatar’), but Gollum was one of the first characters to be conjured up on the screen in this way. In short, a real actor – in this case Andy Serkis – plays the scenes using sensors that detect his movements and facial expressions and translate them into computer images.
But not only is Gollum a technical achievement: his character is also extremely interesting. Especially the two sides in his personality. In one scene, where he has a conversation with himself, literally portrayed are fascinating. You have a good side and a bad side. It’s a constant battle between his good and evil natures and this makes him unpredictable.
‘The Two Towers’ its tone is different, more earthy, more human, but also darker, as the stakes get higher. The battle for Helm’s Deep is a spectacle of the highest order and the intriguing Gollum is the big surprise of the film.