So it’s 6.15 pm and I’m walking from the Hotel in shoes that should be made illegal or at the very least implements of torture!! It’s not a long walk to The Odeon Leicester Square but it feels like miles, there are people everywhere, we are told to walk through the barriers and straight up to the cinema which we do, leading us thru the crowds and past a ravishing purple vision that turns out to be Dominic Monaghan who is talking to a member of the press! We walk into the cinema and are shown to our seats, which are about eight rows from the front on the left hand side, we sit and wait for the place to fill up, it does slowly and whilst this goes on the huge screen is filled with the images from outside as stars talk about LotR and its impact on them, We see Elijah chewing gum as he talks about making the film and the interviewer comments that he made it two years ago and wasn’t he ten then, Elijah laughs heartily not at all phased by the dig at his age and youthful appearance. Sean Astin too laughs off a small jibe at his character and before long the cinema is filled with whispering voices and excited Tolkien fans. Once everyone is inside people appear on the stage and talk a lil and then Peter Jackson emerges and approaches the mic. I feel as tho there is someone behind me so I glance to my left and to my surprise am confronted by the fact that the entire cast are standing beside me in the isle watching Peter talk. It suddenly becomes very real indeed. One by one Peter introduces them and they run up on stage, Orlando Bloom dazzling with his cheeky Mohawk makes burring noises as his co-stars run ahead of him, and soon the whole cast stand before me on the stage giggling and nudging each other like children. It is a site to behold. Then all of a sudden it’s time to watch the film. The Lights dim the cast make their way back up to the celebrity filled balcony and then its here.
The curtains pull back, the screen comes to life again, New Line Cinema presents…..
I’m really seeing it this time. It’s not a trailer or a barrage of clips but the actual film, I take a deep breath and await the wonder.
My first sight of Frodo sends a chill down my spine and as the film grows warmer I find myself looking up at it with the wide eyed excitement of a child at Christmas, I am anticipating every twist and turn in the story, every line and joke from the pages Ive grown to love.
Frodo is every bit the Hobbit I’d imagined him to be, Sam the friend he deserves. Pippin is the cheeky soul I love and steals every scene he’s in with his quirky dialogue and warm Scottish brogue. Merry is slightly more cheeky than I had imagined but he too lights the screen with a crooked smile and a sparkle in his eye. Gandalf is quite simply Gandalf, no more no less he is as he should be.
The scenery is stunning, the cinematography breathtaking. From warmth of The Shire to beauty of Rivendell to the terrible tower at Isenguard, every inch oozes atmosphere and wonder and the races themselves breath with all the creativity that Tolkien injected into them.
Legolas is lithe and swift of movement, Gimli is rough and hard of nature. Boromir is a noble man with a troubled heart, and Aragorn is a King in rangers clothing. Tall and proud yet mysterious and strange. I cannot fault the Fellowship at all.
I am still not wholly convinced of Arwens expanded role, she was not irritating when on screen but I could not yet fully accept her new position. My only qualm was the portrayal of Galadriel. Cate Blanchett looked perfect and sounded perfect but where as I had always seen Galadriel as this quiet strong mysterious force in Middle Earth it seemed in this film she was something different, She was strange and overly dramatic, especially in the scene where Frodo offers her the Ring. And I felt not at ease with her infact she felt almost mad instead of serene as I thought she should be. But this did not take anything from the film itself. And although there is alot missing some of which I felt was integral to the story, like the insisted blindfolding of Gimli to pass into Lothlorien, when he says he will be happy if only he and Legolas go unseeing I thought this a big step towards their future friendship, but this is not in the film and the jumps from one place to the next often seem quite abrupt. And yet I could not take my eyes away from the screen. I was watching the tale I have known forever come to life albeit in a slightly different manner than I had known. The story that mattered was all there and the reworking of it did nothing to quell my wonder as I watched it unfold. I wanted to laugh and cry and fall apart and scream in all the same places and as The Fellowship stood at Amon Hen I could not believe it had been three hours already, It was too soon. I was not ready to leave. Surely after all my waiting I could not walk away from the story now?
But alas the time came for the Fellowship to break apart and although I knew every step each one was to take I still found my hand clutched to my heart as Sam tried to make it to Frodo and Merry and Pippin were taken by the Orcs. There was a unanimous round of applause after a scene in which Aragorn beheads a foe in battle, and then as the story came to a close and the credits began to roll the cinema erupted into applause and whistles and whoops like I have never heard.
I could not stop clapping even tho my hands began to hurt, had I had the ability I would have clapped until my hands fell off. I could not stop smiling, and yet I wanted to cry. There just aren’t the words to express the depth of what I felt in that moment. I was truly blown away by it. And I cannot wait to see it again. I loved the imagery when Frodo put on the Ring, It is exactly how imagined but I have no doubt there will be those who dislike this adaptation, alot has been left out or altered but for this Tolkien fan it was a visually stunning creation that brought to me the wonder of something that is beyond words but now thankfully not beyond film.
THE AFTER SHOW PART-AY
I was supposed to be taken to the green room to meet the cast and crew but as is the way the PR woman never showed up!!!!! so we didn’t get that opportunity something that they will not be hearing the last of believe me!!! So we decided just to head to the party, so anyway there were coaches laid out to take us, and it wasnt a long trip, and so soon we were making our way through a wonderful smelling courtyard, where various meats were being roasted on spits and where roasted chestnuts were being handed out. There was fire and there was the Elvish words inscribed on The Ring projected onto the floor twice and rotating around each other, we move slowly into the building up the red carpet and past all the press, with the predictable ‘ooh look Sky news’ or “Oh wow CNN’ and then finally we were inside and a small girl dressed as a wench hands me a program that tells me where I can find what foods in the various parts of middle earth such is the way the place is laid out, to our left is Lothlorien so my sister pulls me there straight away and it’s straight to the bar for an Archers and Lemonade for her, ah the nerves eh? We wander deeper into the people infested party, Rivendell lies on our right, there is the village green where trees stand with lights strung in them and barrows of real fruit lying here and there and benches where the wearing or high heel wearing guests can sit, up ahead is the Prancing Pony where the bar is huge giving you the feel of a hobbit as u approach it and on the other side is the Green Dragon where the bar is tine making you feel rather large indeed, there is a balcony that over looks the dance floor in the corner of which stands a large statue of a Nazgul on horseback, a live band plays but the dance floor is as yet unused.
Over another balcony opposite Rivendell there stands the statues of three giant trolls, a familiar scene and worthy of a photograph lol
We wandered around for a while and then who should we bump into by the village green but that vision in purple once more Mr Monaghan, he is one big crooked smile and greets us with the warmth of an old friend. He stands and chats about the film and we tell him he was brilliant (hey I’m allowed one stupid fanlike moment okay!!!) he seems really chuffed and says “Awwwww thank yoouuuuu!” we talked a bit about what was supposed to happen and when we mentioned the PR woman’s mysterious absence his response was “Dissssgraaaaycfuul!!!” lol Anyway we asked for a pic and he obliged being the nice fella he was and he put both arms around me and held me tightly!! it was rather…nice. Then after another big hug and a quick peck on the cheek he told us to go and mingle and if we wanted to talk to anyone to just go and talk to them coz everyone was really nice, so we did and were once more lost in the crowds, we wandered along and who should saunter by deep in conversation but Frank Skinner, and even tho he was deep in discussion with someone he did manage to check out my cleavage!!!
For the Brits out there we saw Max from Hollyoaks, that really funny guy from Human Traffic and Is Harry on the Boat I forget his name, and then we met GRAHAM NORTON!!! How cool is he?? lol he’s soo funny, we got a pic of him too lol
Anyhoo we were walking around and I finally bumped into Stewart from BillyBoyd.net he was very sweet and funny and it was nice to meet him and as we talked Mr Boyd himself walked by and gave us a big smile, after Stew went for a beer we walked about a bit more and introduced ourselves to Billy, he was really sweet and I told him I thought he stole every scene he was in
(fanlike moment #2)
and he was thankful, we talked about his site and stuff and then a tine little man came up to us and Billy introduced him as the man who arranged it all, the man couldn’t have been over 3ft tall he was very charming. Billy had his own camera (bless) and wanted a picture or himself with the little man who’s name I cannot remember for the life of me!! then we took our pics with Billy which he was more than happy to do, then after more hugs and another kiss on the cheek it was back into the fray once more, we got more drinks (I don’t drink alcohol but my sister sure can!!) sat down at every opportunity (damn shoes damn u to hell!!) we walked past the enclosed interview room where Jonathon Ross was interviewing the stars (when we arrived it was Orlando now it was Viggo Mortenson) but then all of a sudden Orlando was right in front of us, his Mohawk standing to attention his jacket gone. He is surrounded by people and seems to be buzzing, he is being spoken to from every direction but he is smiling and trying to deal with it as best he can, in a brief moment of peace we approach him and say hi and stuff and get the usual pics done I tell him he was great as Legolas (fanlike moment#3)then he is swept away into the crowd and remains perpetually swept for the rest of the night, not once do I see him sitting or standing, he is constantly gliding around like a cartoon being followed by a group of chattering people, he seems the only one with this affliction!!!
As we walk through the village green we meet Dom again, we tap him on the shoulder and he turns around with arms open wide and embraces us in a huge hug after which we take the opportunity to wish him a happy belated Birthday for Saturday and he is quite happy but says he has a sore throat from it and doesn’t want to give it to anyone, but he talks cheerfully about the night and says that Elijah is around somewhere and if he sees him he’ll tell him to come talk to us and after a few more hugs we go to find blessed seating on the way to which we bump into Sean Astin who is a perpetually smile. He is extremely sweet and good natured and looking at him I can only see Sam with maybe a little bit of Mikey from Goonies thrown in for good measure, he is charming even though he is being talked to by several people at once, a real gent but too soon he was swept off again and we returned to our hunt for chairs!!
By now the live band is gone and the dance music is pounding around the place and the dance floor itself is now gathering a few members , although I think it has more to do with the flow of drink than the music. We spot Sir Ian Mackellan leaning over the balcony with his chin rested on it watching the dancers, he seems quite in a daze and I fear he may be quite drunk lol!!!! We see Stewart again and he drops names like a ship drops anchor lol We see Ioan Gruffudd sitting in the village green chatting away and as we move thru the crowd Viggo Mortenson suddenly blocks our way, he is a force within himself and is very tall, and intimidates the hell out of me lol but he merely says Hello in a soft voice and steps aside to let us pass, oh my he is rather mesmerizing I must say it took me a few minutes to get myself to start walking again.
I don’t see Sean Bean or Sir Ian Holm anywhere nor do I see Christopher Lee whom I had so wanted to meet as he was my mothers favourite actor and I felt I had to meet him for her sake, she would have been so excited If I’d have met him but alas he like the other two were nowhere to be seen!! Liv seemed almost to hide herself away and she seemed to be downstairs most of the time but when we did speak to her she was so sweet and polite and soft spoken you couldn’t help but like her regardless of how iffy you think Arwen has become!!!!
As we climb the stairs we see Peter surrounded by people asking him for autographs, so as not to bother him we simply slide in and pat him on the back and say “Congratulations” he turns and smiles and says “Thanks it’s really appreciated,” and we leave him to his fans.
Finally my sis had to eat so we stopped at Bilbo’s roast stall by the village green and she got a roast pork and chicken wedge with sage and onion stuffing, ohh scrummdiddlyumptious, speaking of which after she had eaten and we’d had another drink who should we spot in the village green but Frodo Baggins himself, My sis was out of her seat and beside him before I could even stand up and he watched me as I walked over to him and thankfully the look on his face wasn’t that of alarm!! He reached out and took my hand and leaning in kissed me on the cheek (oh my merry wood!! excuse the pun!)his face was filled with warmth and his eyes shone. I looked at him and a thousand witty intelligent things flashed in my head I opened my mouth and said “You were great by the way!” (fanlike moment#4) he smiles sweetly and thanks me.
I’m standing next to Elijah Wood and it feels like all the air has gone out of the room, even Orlando didn’t have this effect on me!!! We talk for a bit and once again I tell him of the predicament we found ourselves in with the missing PR woman to which he replies “SH!T” in a cute British accent, I laugh and he reaches out and rests his hand on my arm, oh my…. My sis asks if we can take a pic and he says absolutely but then my mouth steps in front of my brain again and I give him a copy of my Poem that he inspired entitled ‘Those Eyes’ (fanlike comment #5 and the biggest one of all!!!) It is my favourite poem, (It’s in my Lady of Legolas wallpaper gallery in the Lycos LotR community should anyone wanna check it out!!) it has made ppl cry and I am very proud of it regardless if u don’t like Elijah or Poetry, and u only live once right???!! He takes it and starts to read it then seeing me wince he rolls it back up puts it into his jacket pocket and says “I’ll read it back at the Hotel so as not to embarrass you” I believe he will.
We talk a bit more and I lean in and say to him “So I hear you have a thing for the ‘C’ word?”, he looks up at me with wide eyes and a soft innocent smile and just says “C**T?”, It was soooo funny. “It’s a great word” he says laughing. I am so in awe of him, there isn’t a single false bone in his body he is THE most genuine person I have ever met in my life, sorry for those who don’t like him but he is. We talk and he looks me right in the eyes as he speaks or listens, and it’s hard to look away. After a while tho more cockroaches approach him, cockroaches?? he he I mean press! sorry, and pull him away!! he gives me a big tight hug and another peck on the cheek and then is lost in the world of celebrity once more!
It is almost the end of the night at this point and we know if we want to get a coach back we must leave soon so seeing Stew in the village green we walk over and say bye, then move onto Billy who is sitting at one of the benches beside him, Billy keeps taking my hand as we speak, rubbing it gently and his hands are so warm and soft. I mention the shag comment and he laughs and says not to worry about offending him and that he thought it was funny and to ignore the stick I got from other ppl, then pulling me down he kisses me again on the cheek and says bye. With the others already gone we leave and walk out with Elijah. First stopping to get our LotR party goodie bag which contained One LotR circular holographic mouse mat! One tube of body lotion with a first class Air New Zealand tag hanging from it, One Crystal body Tattoo (yes it’s a bit of a girlie goodie bag and Elijah didn’t take one lol!!!) One Frodo and Gandalf toy soldier set, One AOL disc with free LOTR footage and trailers, One copy of the LotR Soundtrack!!!! It was the end of one of the best nights of my life. We got on the coach to go back to the hotel (Max from Hollyoaks also got on said coach!!) and so came an end to my dream come true. It was a remarkable evening even with the absentee PR woman, I have never met such a group of nice, sincere, down to earth people, and the film itself was the crowning glory to them all.
I feel so unbelievably lucky to have experienced it all with them and to share it all with you makes it all the more real.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my little adventure into the world of the Rich and Famous, I shall leave you now to return to my fantasy world where on leaving the part-ay with Elijah I went HIS way instead of to the coach !!!!!!!! (*_~)
Ahhh the power of the drifts………