A scattered people, the descendants of storied sea-kings of the ancient West, struggle to survive in a lonely wilderness as a dark force relentlessly bends its will toward their destruction…
This hour long original drama is set in the time before the War of the Ring and tells the story of the Dúnedain, the Rangers of the North, before the return of the King. Inspired by only a couple of paragraphs written by Tolkien in the appendices of the Lord of the Rings we follow Arathorn and Gilraen, the parents of Aragorn, from their first meeting through a turbulent time in their people’s history.
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Born of Hope, the story of Arathorn and Gilraen, the parents of Aragorn (played by Viggo Mortensen in Jackson’s films), was funded by Madison’s £8,000 life savings, plus £17,000 raised from posting a trailer on YouTube. Since its online premiere at the end of last year the film has become something of a phenomenon, attracting more than 500,000 views. On the strength of this near note-perfect homage to Jackson’s vision for the Rings, we can probably assume that Madison has a fair amount of natural talent and access to an extremely cheap or extremely understanding post-production facility.
There are two reasons the film works as well as it does. First, it’s very well cast. Christopher Dane, who plays Arathorn, not only looks rather like Mortensen, he is genuinely effective as the noble warrior and orc-slaughterer. Madison, who plays Elgarain, a soldier girl who secretly loves Arathorn, gives her character real depth. There’s the odd jarring note, such as an orc with a Brummie accent, but practically all the performances have a skill level far above that which is usually evident in low-budget cinema.
But the main factor is the total absence of tiresome irony. Madison is completely earnest in her admiration for Jackson’s films. Her prequel is an homage rather than a knowing spoof. She embraces every trick in Jackson’s repertoire — including those, such as the swelling orchestral score and the slow-motion battle sequences — that are generally regarded as hoary old clichés. Every frame of this film was made with love — and it shows.
Cast and Crew:
Director: Kate Madison
Writers: Paula DiSante (screenplay), J.R.R. Tolkien (inspired by the writings of)
Production Company: Actors at Work Productions
Date Release: 2009
Audio & Video: Stereo – Color – HD
Christopher Dane – Beth Aynsley – Kate Madison
Adventure Movies – Action Movies – Fantasy Movies
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Filed Under: Adventure