Monday, May 19, 2008

I don't remember THAT!

We saw the first Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in the theatre when it came out. We enjoyed it. We promised the oldest children that we would see the next one, Prince Caspian, when it came out. So we went to the theatre last night to see it. We took the oldest three, three stayed with Oma and we had to take the latest model.
We met some new people at the theatre and some old acquintances. That was fun. We parked next to a white 15-passenger van. It turned out to be the vehicle for another family of seven that homeschools. We had some good conversation before the movie started and that was great. We got popcorn and soda. All a big treat.
Now I think I would have enjoyed the movie greatly if I hadn't read the book. I am placing this movie on my list of It-bears-the-same-name-as-the-book-but-that-is-about-it. The two glaring changes they added, that I thought took away from the story, were a rivalry between Peter and Caspian and a romantic intensity between Susan and Caspian.
The screenwriter seemed to add a whole tone of coming of age angst and rebellion that is not in any of the books. One telling line, for me, was when Peter is encouraged that, "This is not the time for chivalry!" Hello? The book is always clear about the good guys acting honorably in contrast to the villains acting dishonorably. When is the time to act chivalrously? Integrity is demonstrated when the circumstances are hard. That defines character. All the Narnia books are infused with the idea of character.
C.S. Lewis didn't believe in talking down to children. He had many children write to him and he wrote back. His letters always had a man to man tone to them. Children responded well to his tone of respect. He used this tone in his books. I think that is why they were so immensely popular. I think it all got lost in this movie.
The Pevensie kids are argumentative with each other. Peter is excessively rude to Caspian. In the book Peter is very clear that he did not come to rule, but to aid Caspian. They add a whole ivasion of the castle that doesn't exist in the book. It detracts from the whole overall story. Susan also figures prominently in the battles as opposed to being with Lucy in awakening the trees. So much for "battles are ugly when women fight." A quote thoughtfully altered in the first movie and completely dismissed in this one. The romance between Caspian and Susan is pretty nauseating. She even kisses him before crossing back into our world. Blech! Definately not in the book.
On a whole I was dissapointed. There were some bright spots. Edmund was pretty cool in this movie. I liked his character. Reepicheep was wonderful! He was even better than I imagined. He is worth renting the movie for when it comes out on DVD.

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