The Ring of Terror by Leon J. Podles

The Ring of Terror

The long-awaited first part of Peter Jackson’s film, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, is not what I expected, but I was not disappointed. Peter Jackson, the director, said that the films were mere entertainment, but Tolkien had called his book a philological game. Both film and book are serious almost beyond endurance; both artists have poured their deepest concerns into their art, and both have been—beyond their imagination—taken up into the currents of history.

The film is darker than the book. There are few moments of bright sunlight in the film; instead we see firelight, torchlight, twilight, night. The mood is more somber. In part this is a result of transforming a narrative into a . . .