“Return of the King” is a movie so dense, that even at a running time of over 4 hours we feel that there was more to the story that wasn't told. It is certainly the best in the trilogy but as I said before these 3 movies are best considered one very long movie that has been split into 3, a bit like when a DVD comes in 2 discs.
There is not much more to add to this movie that hasn't been said in the previous 2 except that the story finally reaches its climax and everything gets resolved. The ending leaves you with a lump in your throat and this blogger even had a mild depression after watching it for the first time. You see when the film ends you finally enter back into the real world, and after spending about 9 hours in middle earth, the world with all its flaws and your life with all the stress and responsibilities both seem too much to bear.
The special effects are just as good as the 2 other films and everything works perfectly filmmaking wise. I rarely use this term but I think the “Lord of the Rings” is a flawless film. There are only a handful of movies that I believe to be flawless and this is one of them. I came to that decision the last time I saw the films again a few weeks ago and I think it is a decision I had been meaning to make for years, but I just didn’t have the balls to. You see it’s easy to say that films like “The Godfather” “Citizen Kane” “Gone with the Wind” or “Casablanca” are perfect but in the eyes of today’s critics you get people who are not willing to accept that a movie that has come out in the past decade deserves to stand among giants. Anyone who is reading this, I dare you to go to your oldest living relative and try to teach them how to use your cell phone. Chances are that not only they won’t be able to use it but they will get mad at it after a few minutes. You know how good of a device it is but nothing is going to convince grandma that her old rotary phone is the best thing technology has to offer.
The reason why I think this movie deserved to be compared to the classics I mentioned is that it is probably the biggest movie ever made, and I am not talking about length, I am talking about scale. There is so much going on, filled with so many things, characters, events, themes, adventures, that it overwhelms anyone who watches it, and that’s whether they like it or not.
I remember when I was a kid and this movie was out I didn’t want to see it. It seemed way too dark for me especially compared to the other more child friendly fantasy movie series to come out during the same time “Harry Potter”. I tried to watch it a few times but I always stopped watching about half way through “Fellowship” it all just seemed way too complex for me and I couldn't understand. It took me to get to age 18 to finally watch the entire trilogy, and when that happened something changed in me. I realized what a film is capable of. This film is certainly not for children, I remember most of the stuff zoomed right over my head when I tried to watch it as a kid and when I finally started to understand a bit of it at age 15 I still felt confused by its adult presentation.
This is a movie for the ages. It remains one of my favorites and it won’t be knocked off there for a long long time I fear because I don’t believe that there is anyone willing or even able to make a film of this magnitude within my lifetime.
Tell me. Do you think newer movies deserve to stand among other giants like "Citizen Kane", or "The Godfather"?