Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top Films: The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian

Normally, it is a difficult thing for a movie to improve on a book. There is so much that cannot be translated to the screen and imagination is usually better at interpreting an author’s ideas than any special effects are. Not only that… but filmmakers so often feel the need to change things. Either to make them more cinematic or because they feel like the viewers shouldn’t know the story or simply because they think they can tell a better story than the author. (If that is the case, why buy the rights to the story in the first place?)

That being said, Andrew Adamson and co. managed the rare feat of changing the story of a book and producing a movie that is at least as good as the source material. The themes of Lewis’ story are all present in spite of the changes and in some ways… the themes have been strengthened.

The big spiritual lesson of Prince Caspian is the one learned by Lucy when she sees Aslan but fails to act upon what she has seen because the group does not believe her. The more subtle side of this lesson (in the book) is the way Peter must learn to do things God’s way and not his. He has to learn to listen to and trust others. In the film, the changes to the plot strengthen this aspect of the story. They also make the movie version quite a bit more exciting than the book, which may be one on the weaker entries in the series.

The addition of a completely tacked on and pointless attraction between Caspian and Susan was unfortunate. Do the film makers think teens and especially girls will only watch something with romance in it?

Here’s looking forward to the Dawn Treader!

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