Tolkien (2019) Review


Looking into the early life of J. R. R. Tolkien and the experiences which could have inspired and influenced his truly unique and incredible writing. In particular The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.


You should be well aware by now that I am a total Lord of the Rings geek and owe my love for film to that trilogy. I have also read the books and The Hobbit, so therefore well into the middle earth and world Tolkien created on and off screen. Hearing about this project I thought it was exciting, however knowing that the family and Estate did not approve of the film or authorise it in anyway tainted going to see it. The fact they don’t endorse it or the content made it more difficult to watch.

Surely something that comes across so personal and looking at the tough days should have been approved? I don’t know if that is just me with being such a big fan. I eventually went to see the film though and as a story about a boy becoming a man and being involved in war it actually does a very good job. The friendships made when it seemed so unlikely was actually very good to watch and seeing these young men head to war and fight. Intelligent and at Oxford and Cambridge Universities they had a club that was to change the world through arts.

We are given three different stages of life during the story and that starts with the death of his mother and becoming an orphan and being moved into a new place to live. This actually gave him the chance to attend a good school and led to him meeting Edith who he quickly fell in love with. So we are given little parts of different stories and supposed episodes in his life, but it doesn’t flow naturally together or very strong in all honesty. At times it couldn’t decide if it was a love story, a friendship story or about how he created Middle Earth and the different languages within it.

Disappointment I guess is the main thing I felt from the film as I really would have loved to know more about Tolkien and therefore with the family and estate disregarding this film I feel as though I cannot really then accept everything in it. Which makes me very sad in terms of some moments filling me with such joy when linking to The Shire, or anything else Lord of the Rings related. I will also admit that it was not overpowering in that sense with the references, they were placed throughout and more hinted at.

Nicholas Holt was very good in the leading role, an actor I really do enjoy watching. Sharing the role with Harry Gilby, who I personally believe looks wise works very well as the two actors are similar. It was also great to see Harry in this big release film as I have previously seen him in a small British film called Just Charlie, and both of these performances confirm he has a very big and bright future. Both actors managed to develop the character in good ways. Lily Collins wasn’t used enough which was a shame really, only getting a few scenes.

4 thoughts on “Tolkien (2019) Review

  1. Don’t feel too bad about three estate not endorsing the film. For them, endorsing it would mean that the film would tell the compete truth about Tolkien’s life, but no film is a perfect biography. So their response is normal and reasonable. I’m still very interested in seeing this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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