Yup, that’s right, It’s movie review time! *SPOILERS* duh but honestly of you have not seen this movie by now do you even like tolkien? 🙂
(this will be brief as I fully intend to write about him in great length in multiple posts.)
I just saw a wonderful movie, Tolkien. If you are unfamiliar, the movie is a story about Tolkien’s life from late childhood to early adulthood. He is a brilliant Author, as anyone who has read his work can attest. He also was a brilliant Philologist. His ability with language was astounding and quite useful in has fantasy novels. Because of his gifts, he was able to create a whole language and fragments of others for his stories. He has inspired and influenced many authors and much of the modern Fantasy genre has been shaped by his work, and is one of the many influnces on my own writing and a reason I write at all.
Cinematic Artistry and Visual Art
The depiction of how Tolkien saw the world was nothing short of epic. He saw dragons and the world of fairytales right alongside the world he was living in. As he fought in the war there were monsters and dragons that cut through the gas in the same way that Smaug did on the misty mountain. They showed how he might have seen the world and how vast and beautiful his mind and imagination were. The visual nature of the movie helped to amplify the art that Tolkien did through sketching the world he saw in his head.
Writing, Language, and Inspiration
Something amazing the movie taught me was that language, culture, and history are inextricably linked. The way that Tolkien would come up with a word and that word had a whole story behind it and a specific story was mesmerizing. Language follows culture, the way we move our mouth and tongue as we speak, whether the sound is harsh, guttural, or lilted, and the myths, lore, and legends, they are all tied together beautifully and create such diversity among languages. The geography can even determine the sounds of speech. I have always wanted to create my own language but never got into it because I did not know where to start. The movie gave me an idea to just come up with a word and then write a story about it and eventually I will get used to that. Then I can begin to build the music and culture behind the language that builds the fabric of the world which created it. The ability to think of a word and make a world from the one little combination of letters has opened up a brand new way of writing and so many doors to new worlds that were always in my brain but I had no tools to write.
Acting and Characters
The actors who depicted him were brilliant in the masterful portrayal of a fantastical minded man. Nicholas Holt and Harry Gilby did a fantastic job of portraying the same person with continuity and such similarities that created an accurate depiction of how Tolkien might have been. I have always wished to have been born a boy and I think that part of this is because of my personality not fitting as a girl (but truthfully I would not fit as a boy either) and also because of the groups of boys and young men who had a certain bond that women just do not seem to acquire. This was portrayed in this movie. The group of school boys that Tolkien hung out with was a soceity unto itself. I love these kinds of relationships and this society forshadows the writing group the Tolkien would later be a part of alongside or C.S. Lewis. That group was called the Inklings.
Tolkien is such an inspiration so it is unsurprising that a movie about him would be inspirational. It is always a treat to see the person behind a really wonderful story and that is what the movie was able to do. It was also so helpful to see a potential way that he saw the world and how seeing things differently is not always a bad thing and it can actually be a defining feature and your greatest asset. There are common themes that I see in his life, in my life, and in the life of many writers that showed me that regardless of where I am in my journey I am still a writer. Many people do not realize that he did not publish Lord of the Rings until he was in his sixties. My take away is that everyone’s journey is different. In the words of Aslan (I know its Lewis and not Tolkien, but hey it fits) “things never happen the same way twice.” There will be things along the journey that mold you and events will always be different for you than for someone else. Do not compare to others but let their stories and experiences guide your own.
This movie was part of the reason I got back into writing. It is rather difficult to stay in the same type of work for an extended period of time. I have so many interests and I tend to bounce around in them. This movie was able to show me that I want writing to be what I do primarily. This blog is only a small piece of this. Part of the reason I only publish once a week is because I am worldbuilding and writing some fantasty stories as well. I hope to publish some short stories but is difficult to get anywhere if I split my time between too many things. If I can publish a book then I will have more time to do all my writing because I will not have to work another job. Once I am done with school I hope to publish and then hopefully be able to give you some short stories. The most important thing is that I intend to write and continue writing. I only hope that someone will care enough to read my work.
What do you love about Tolkien? What did you think of the moview Tolkien?
Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas. I am grateful for all your contributions.
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-Evi. L. Holmes