‘One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them’. This line sounds stereotypically from a fantasy film, and it would perhaps not fit in to other genres such as comedy or romance. Fantasy films often take us in to a different world and away from the imperfections of our normal life, they are a great contrast to our lives, in fantasy films things are always extremes, either great things are happening, or extremely bad things are occurring; whereas for the everyday person, such things rarely happen and life is just monotonous.
To be taken in to a life of someone else’s with unbelievable things happening to them is an excitement and people enjoy being taken from their world and being placed in a dream place, where everything is perfect. Films of the fantasy genre are mainly based on popular myths and legends, characters are things like dragons, wizards, elves, dwarves – all things we have heard stories about. Films stretch these myths and bring them to life; they often bring back elements of our childhood and will therefore entertain us even more.
Settings, characters, events, music, endings and dialogue all contribute to us experiencing these things. Also, these certain things in a film will be very typical of the particular genre, some styles of music and characters will only fit in one genre, and some genres will only have certain music and characters. The film Lord of the rings – The fellowship of the ring has many attributes of its fantasy genre, the settings and locations within the film are all similar to that of many of fantasy movies.
One of the settings in Lord of the Rings is Lothlorien, it contains many huge elaborate buildings, and beautiful gardens; the weather here is never bad and the atmosphere is always bright and cheerful. This setting will help emphasise what is happening in it, often in a place that is light and peaceful scenes with happy moments will be portrayed here, rather than dark upsetting scenes such as battles. These surroundings help engage the audience as what they’re seeing is incredible and wouldn’t be something they’d see in real life, it will interest them to see something they haven’t seen before.
Another location in this film is the mines of Moria, this is the opposite of the previous setting, here it is always dark, gloomy, cold and damp; one again, the surroundings in the film will determine what the audience will be feeling, when they see this setting, they will be anticipating something bad to be happening and this will help to get the audience engaged in the film. In fantasy films, there will always be certain types of characters, a strong and brave person, someone who is wise and clever, one who is weak yet brave and noble, a beautiful woman who is adored by most of the characters.
There will often be an evil counterpart for these characters, and the characters within The Lord of the Rings are all what you would expect to see in a fantasy movie. The main character in this film is Frodo, he has little strength and fighting ability but is strong willed and brave. He has the characteristics of the typical fantasy main character, and these characteristics help entertain the audience; they like to see an underdog win. Also they will be a character the audience can usually relate to and are often a more credible person than most others in fantasy films.
Frodo has three friends, Meri, Pippin and Sam who are all similar to him these characters add a comedy element to some parts of the film, mostly to relieve the tension when needed. This helps entertain the audience more so. In Lord of the Rings there is a slight exception to the rule of there being one person who is strong, brave and does most of the fighting, as there are four characters like this, Aragorn (Strider), Boromir, Gimli and Legolas. Having four incredible characters intensifies the battles, also all the characters are unrealistic yet this entertains people more as they are seeing something they wouldn’t usually see.
Once again fitting in with the stereotypes of the fantasy genre there is a beautiful woman that someone falls in love with, audiences often like romance within a film, especially between two characters they have seen a lot of during the movie and have grown attached to. People like to see other people they like succeed or do well, whether it’s in a fight or in a relationship. This is yet another technique that gets the audience more in to the film. The final character typical of almost every fantasy film is the evil one, in this particular film it is Saruman, he is originally good but is then corrupted and turns evil.
With an evil character in a film, it gives the viewer someone to hate and whenever they do anything to the good characters; it angers the audience and lures them deeper and deeper in to the world of the film. Another thing that is very much a characteristic of a fantasy film is the names of the characters, it’s not every day you meet someone called Boromir or Frodo, with these incredible , unusual names it takes the audience even further away from there normal life and more in to the movie.
Events in a film are what entertain us the most, they are the factor that determines whether we enjoy a movie or not. Different people like to see different things on screen and films often need to try and interest everyone. Events in a fantasy film can completely change how we feel, they can make us sad, happy, angry, a whole range of different emotions. Fantasy films in particular try and cater for everyone’s tastes; they include intense battle scenes, yet also have the contrast with romantic love scenes.
The most typical event in a fantasy film is a battle, or maybe even multiple battles, these engage the viewer and also determine what characters the audience take a liking to. The fights are mostly between the main character and their arch nemesis, the battles are incredible and nothing anyone would see in real life, therefore they entertain the audience. The other event that is almost always in a fantasy film is romantic scene, between the main ‘good’ character, and the beautiful lady.
People like to see characters they like, succeed in a relationship, or even a battle for that matter. Also, the love scene acts as good relief from the stresses of the fights and other more aggressive moments in the film. Lord of The Rings once again contains these stereotypes; the battle at weather top between the four hobbits and Aragorn against the ring wraiths, the fight is intense and ends with one of the main characters, Frodo, being stabbed. This makes the audience feel more hatred towards the ring wraiths who are the evil characters, and more sympathetic towards Frodo.