I remember first hearing about this project years and years ago, back when all they had done was a few days of promotional shooting. So needless to say, I was starting to think it would never get finished!
But here it is at last - a fan-made prequel to "The Lord of the Rings." It tells the story of the parents of Aragorn, Arathorn and Gilraen, and nicely elaborates on the information Tolkien gave us in his appendixes.
For a fan-made, non-commercial production it's extremely well-done. That doesn't mean I can't pick a few bones with it - but overall I'm incredibly impressed by what they've managed to do. Cinematography and film quality especially, as well as some very good acting by most of the actors.
The bones? Well, the costumes could have been better. In particular they could have been aged better. I know it's so hard to age costumes when you've put work into making them. You desperately want to preserve every thread of them. But it's so so so so necessary to get the right look. I learned this to my cost when I did my own LOTR project half a decade ago.
Secondly - I'm not sure they made the right choice in casting their Gilraen. She had a fairly decent air, but she didn't look at all like I imagined Gilraen to be. Too old, and (though pretty) not the sort of pretty that I would expect from a mother of Aragorn. Also, they tried to make her into some sort of fighting maiden, but she couldn't really fight when it mattered, and it's like - do it all the way or not at all. If you only do it halfway, she looks silly swinging a sword and that makes her a weaker character than if she never picked up a sword at all.
Yet other than that, the film really is extremely well-made. For being an hour long it has some nice character and relationship arcs, the story moves along, and most of the VFX are fairly-well done. Let's just say, they actually made their bluescreen work. ;) (...yeah, about my experience with bluescreen...*shudders*...)
Anyhow, kudos to the team, and many thanks for captioning the film so that I could properly enjoy it!
And to my readers, if you've got good internet streaming, haste thee over to the website and prepare thyself for a goodly treat!