Fellowship of the Ring at 20: the film that revitalised and ruined Hollywood

Peter Jackson’s first Lord of the Rings film was a stunning achievement but it introduced a new world of delayed and extended gratificationWhen I first saw The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with my dad at a Johannesburg mall multiplex one afternoon in that idle dead zone between Christmas and New Year, not everyone in the audience was left as rapt as they might now claim to have been.

“That’s it?” asked a bewildered punter in front of us, to nobody and everybody in general, as the credits rolled to the droning vocal windchimes of Enya.

“That’s really the end?” He and his partner skulked out of the cinema before anyone could reassure them more was on the way.

I assume they got the memo eventually.Even for those of us forewarned of Peter Jackson’s bold three-film adaptation strategy, however, the

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