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DVD REVIEW: NG- ROTK

01.08.2004

National Geographic Beyond the Movie:
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

There are two things in life that have never let me down since my early teenage years: the first is my right hand and the second is my National Geographic membership. Recognized around the world for its contribution to the advancement of science and for its integrity, the National Geographic Society (or the “NGS” for we insiders) takes a stab here at explaining some of what makes Tolkien’s Hobbit saga so fascinating.

It’s difficult in reading the novel not to associate certain parts of it with historical events: The march of an evil empire bent on taking over Middle-earth, the overwhelming odds faced by the forces of good, culminating in a desperate battle with a will to make the ultimate sacrifice to free the world from the shadow of tyranny. While Tolkien has always maintained his book was not political, it’s hard not to associate several passages to things he may have witnessed while serving in the Second War.

This documentary makes no pretension at explaining what Tolkien meant to portray, if anything at all, but rather picks up some similarities between characters, events and circumstances within the movies to historical likenesses. Does the heroic Aragorn resemble William Wallace or Winston Churchill? Is Grima Wormtongue the second coming of the reviled monk Rasputin whose advice drove Russian Royalty to its doom?

Narrated by John Rhys-Davies with the participation of Peter Jackson, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen and others, this 60-minute documentary will make your mind work a bit and could even help some kids learn a bit more about history while immersed in a world that will capture their attention.

You can either purchase this or check your PBS schedule for a rerun of their initial presentation.

Source: DVD Clinic
Tags: Hollywood

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