Fans of The Lord of the Rings were granted a new gift with the premiere of Tolkien (2019), the first biopic about the life of the British author J. R. R. Tolkien, famous for having written one of the most popular literary sagas in history.
Tolkien, directed by Dome Karukoski, features the performances of Nicholas Hoult in the role of J. R. R. Tolkien and Lily Collins as his wife, Edith Bratt. The film tells part of the writer’s life, focusing on his childhood, academic studies and experiences during his participation in World War I, as well as the story of his relationship with the person that would become his wife for the rest of his life.
Unexpectedly, the film moves away from the creative process behind The Hobbit and Middle Earth to explore Tolkien‘s story in a more personal way, expanding on the formation and experiences of a young man who wants to change the world through art.
Tolkien deepens into the author’s relationship with love, fellowship and nature, fundamental notions for his identity development and which would later become the spirit of his work. The events he went through during the War are depicted in an almost dreamlike way, creating scenes with powerful motifs and parallelisms with the darkest moments of The Lord of the Rings.
In spite of being criticized for not offering a new vision of his life, for ignoring the importance of the Catholic faith to Tolkien and for manipulating certain portions of the real story to achieve moments with greater dramatic impact, the film resulted in a very well made biopic and the filmic testimony of the life of an author whose work will be remembered forever.