Wednesday, 21 May 2008 04:00

Prince Caspian and the Sorry State of Movies. . .

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****Spoiler Warning****

I am an avid reader.  I love books, and the books that I love have been read numerous times.  (Should I say at least 30 times in my life?)  There are very few books that capture my imagination like the Chronicles of Narnia.  Everytime I read them, I find something new that paints a picture of God’s abounding Godness to me.  (Okay, Godness is not a real word, but I couldn’t come up with any other.)   In C. S. Lewis’ wonderful storytelling, I gain insight into the Real Aslan in such a simple, yet multi-faceted way.  The books stand for themselves.  They don’t need to be fleshed out.  They don’t need to have more excitement added to them.  Having seen The  Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in theaters, and on DVD, I do know that the screenwriter(s) and director like to "up the ante" by adding ridiculous scenes that are so unlike C. S. Lewis’ stories.  However, I was able to stomach those intrusions because they got so much stuff right.  Not so in Prince Caspian.  I wasn’t actually timing it, but it did seem as if there was an entire hour’s worth of drivel that had nothing to do with the book that I hold near and dear.  What were they thinking?  Peter was acting so unlike the noble High King Peter from the series.  He was irritable, jealous of his position, churlish, petulant, and downright Edmund-like (from the first movie), that I wanted to slap him, and Andrew Adamson ( the director).  He was making inane military moves that High King Peter would never have made.  Is it so wrong to make a movie that is like the book?  I realize that everything can’t be put in a movie that is in a book.  I understand that completely.  My question is why add scenes like that?  What is the purpose?

My second grievance with the movie is the whole love interest thing between Susan and Caspian.  WHAT IS THAT???  Where did that come from?  HELLO????  The kiss at the end was enough to make me ask for my money back, and get a personal apology from the Powers That Be at Walden Media.

To top it off, some of my favorite parts of the book were twisted and completely out of order.  The whole trip to the Bridge of Beruna, and Lucy choosing to follow Aslan whether the others did or not, was a key picture of following Christ whether anyone else does or not.  Why convolute it like they did?  It was so simple, and they could have really made a go of the final battle with all the bells and whistles that they wanted.  I understand why they didn’t put Caspian’s nurse into the movie, and why Aslan and the girls didn’t go through the countryside gaily "freeing" people, and having their little party.  That didn’t bother me.  I didn’t expect it anyway. 

I was really hoping that they’d get through at least The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Final Battle.  (I don’t think they will ever do The Magician’s Nephew, or The Horse and His Boy.)  However, now I’m not too sure I want them to.  If they continue to chop up the books and throw them out as scraps to a dog, I don’t think I’ll hang around for The Final Battle, which is actually my favorite of the series.

On a final note, if you haven’t read the book, or haven’t read it in 10 or 20 years, you’ll love the movie.  I urge you, however, to read the book after you have seen the movie.  You won’t be disappointed.

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