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Sauron's forces have laid siege to Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor, in their efforts to eliminate the race of men. The once-great kingdom, watched over by a fading steward, has never been in more desperate need of its king. But can Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) answer the call of his heritage and become what he was born to be? In no small measure, the fate of Middle-earth rests on his broad shoulders. This lets you know what's going on, if nothing else.
So you don't walk into the film with no knowledge whatsoever.
They go on to describe what has been/is happening with each character, which is great and lets you know the basics. The layout of the final theatrical poster to me is a bit too busy. Personally I think posters with only one or two characters, or even none, have the best effect because they are filled with power and curiosity, making you want to see why that person is scowling or why they are walking between those gates etc.
But, from an all round point of view, I can see why they chose this poster as it interests everyone.
There's fighting for the particularly violent of us, an evil, sneering creature for the mystical and fantasy lovers, and a beautiful woman for the fairytale lovers. Also they chose a particularly excellent background, which is quite a contrast to the dark, evil, sky on the Aragorn poster. The scaly rocks, and the barren lands give a feeling of a journey and difficult times.
The title of the film compliments this perfectly. The colours harmonise, so it doesn't feel too brash to the eyes, and the font seems to be from thousands of years ago, which of course, is how it's meant to be.
The one thing I feel is wrong with the posters is how they have written 'The Journey Ends' at the bottom of nearly every one. If you haven't seen the first two films, this puts you off. It's as if you have to know the story before you see this film, and you get no showing of the beginning, just the end. Though I don't think that looking at the whole poster completely alienates these people, because all the posters are interesting and informative, so even after reading that it is the final part of a trilogy, you would probably think that this film looks so good that you don't mind about not seeing the beginning.
So overall, profoundly effective. My favourite posters are those of Gollum, and Frodo. The way Frodo is looking upwards in fright, with the scars and dirt of a extensive journey give a great effect, and show that the end is near. And what with the Ring just poking out of his clothes, glinting as if it has a life of its own, it really gets you thinking about how he will finish it. Though, Gollum in his poster shows he will do anything for his precious back, with the evil sneer on his face.
Seeing the two posters side by side, I feel as if a battle not just between Sauron and Aragorns army is about to commence, but between these two too. Overall, the promotional media for Lord Of The Rings, Return Of The King is reasonably effective. It leaves you with a wow factor, and gives you a great insight into the film. There are a few problems, but looking as a whole, they don't show and are easily overlooked.
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