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Tolkien

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Biopics are a constant of cinema, as companies will always find someone whose story deserves to be told. Today it seems that the public is more interested in the biographical films of great stars of the world of music, but that does not mean that they continue to arrive regularly with other types of proposals such as 'Tolkien', a film about the now mythical author from 'The Lord of the Rings'.

It has not been the first time someone wants to tell his story, but all those interested had met with the refusal of the writer's family and Tolkien society. That has not changed, since the film does not have its approval, something that those responsible could have taken advantage of to take risks and get out of the most common places of this type of proposal. It has not been the case, but at least we are facing a biopic solvent to get to know Tolkien's youth better.

'Tolkien' revolves around three decisive events in the youth of its protagonist: the group of friends he formed at school, the woman he fell in love with and his participation in World War I just when he seemed to have found his place in the college. All end up being connected to each other, but their appearance is happening in the order in which we mentioned them and the first success of the film is to find a proper balance in the interest of the three.

To do this, the script by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford chooses to give priority to his personal life over his talent as a writer, although he never forgets the latter, especially Tolkien's talent for the creation of other languages. However, what interests the film most is that human connection, influencing how it was, what led him to make certain decisions and how that all marked his life.

In this regard, the friend quartet works very well so that the character leaves his shell and knows the world beyond his limited means. It is not that the film does anything special to build it in such a way that it is special, but from ingredients already widely used yes the director Dome Karukoski manages to feel a sense of authenticity in that friendship, something essential for the viewer to enter the movie.

That gives rise to Nicholas Hoult being able to show some growth as a person in the protagonist before the first big challenge of the film arrives. And it is very easy to show two people on the screen saying how in love they are, but it is more complicated to illustrate it in such a way that you enhance their chemistry.

What is the solution here? Start with sympathy, highlighting that trait in both characters during their first interactions to get a somewhat limited actress like Lily Collins later to illuminate the screen in some key scenes in that romance - those are also some of the moments where it is most perceived that in the address there is someone who knows more than to put the cameras where they don't bother. Again, the script is a little complicated, but at least it does not act as a saboteur of the credibility of this relationship.

It is then that the first major conflict in the film comes, something that 'Tolkien' could have dealt with better, and sometimes it assumes that Hoult can reflect that internal pain through nonverbal language without ever getting it.

In short, ‘Tolkien’ is an effective biopic that works better when it focuses on the personal life of its protagonist than when it has to show us its overflowing imagination, since there it seems to go with the handbrake on.

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