Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Acting:   B
Plot:   C
Production Quality:  B
Positive Elements:  B
Negative Elements:  A

GPA:  3.0

Comments:  LIke the first movie, Prince Caspian was a disappointment to me.  In contrast, my older boys appeared to enjoy it very much.  My five year old kept asking to leave however. 

The themes of the books just do not seem to be resonating in the movies.  I was a child when i read the books, so they are pictured in my mind through the imagination of a child.  The movies just do not capture what I remember. 

The four main characters seemed pretty useless to me.  I kept wondering why they were necessary for the rebellion to begin.  The movie could just as well have left them out, and we could have had just as much excitement.  But they had to show up in this movie or it could not have been called a sequel.   I guess that summarizes my issue with the movie:  It just did not seem like it had to be a Narnia movie.   It could have been any milktoasty fantasy movie if a few characters were changed or dropped. Aslan was not shown to be intrinsic to the plot.  I was left wondering why he needed or wanted the four kings and queens of the past to show up before doing anything.  That plot point is left totally unanswered.  When he does show up,  there is no doubt who will win, no tension.  He is an epitome of Deus Ex Machina.  He is not a being to be related to personally, but a plot convenience to wrap things up.  There is little or no emotional need for his eventual arrival.  

In the book, Reepicheep and the dwarf with an attitude are an important emotional focus.   The movie does not capture the emotional attachment to these characters that the reader developed in the book.  The result is that the payoff at the end has no impact.  The movie portrays the healing of Reepicheep's tail and the lifting of the dwarf's blindness to see the grandness and reality of Aslan.  However, their characters are not properly interwoven and invested in the plot so that we care as much as we did in the book.  I remember the dwarf's "conversion" in the book as being an emotionally powerful climax. Not here. Here it was an afterthought that seemed thrown in just to wrap up his meager storyline. 

For those who want to see their imagined world of the book portrayed objectively, I would recommend seeing the movie once on DVD.

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