Skip to comments.Thoughts on the Chronicles of Narnia : The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.. go see it!!!
Posted on 12/10/2005 9:29:24 AM PST by sionnsar
Last night, my wife, two parents and I took nine senior high youth to see the first installment on screen of the Chronicles of Narnia movies. But, first, we had a meal at our house patterned on that which the Pevensie children had with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver in the Beaver's House. In the book, it was fried fish (which Mr. Beaver pulled out of the ice with his paws), boiled potatoes, scones, and tea. Last night, we had a wonderful broiled salmon, boiled potatoes, freshly baked bread from our oven, apricot scones, devon cream, lemon curd, cider, and turkish delight. Everyone had a great time.
But, thoughts on the movie. Going in, I had three prime concerns.
Number One: the story as it is in the book is just so sublime. How true would the filmmakers stay to the story Lewis has given us? Would Aslan be allowed to be what he is: the savior of Narnia? Would the distinction between good and evil be so stark?
Number Two: the books have a somewhat passe and archaic view of gender. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) The girls get to ride Aslan, they get are the only ones to see him die. They have somewhat feminine weaponry: Susan with her bow and Lucy with her potion. The boys are given swords and armour, they learn to revere Aslan quite unlike the girls, they are told in no uncertain terms to keep their swords clean.
Number Three: while walking the back music section of Barnes and Noble, we saw an official Narnia CD filled to the brim with Contemporary Christian Music - yuck. With the exception of the cut from David Crowder, it was positively saccharine and well, just like everything else Stephen Curtis Chapman et. al. put out. This scared me. Would the Narnia series be under-girded by a soundtrack of well, sentimental tacky crap?
As to the first, the story was preserved, the best lines kept, and the visual appeal was magnificent. Bravo! There were added elements to make the realities of WWII more plain to modern audiences, but they were necessary.
As to the second, in a major surprise, the movie did nothing to alter Lewis' portrayal of the boys and the girls. They were, indeed, kept separate.
As to the third, the music was quite good, none of the CCM stuff. It was what one could dream of for a fantasy soundtrack - tribal drum, Enya, sort of stuff.
Also, excellent choice on making Liam Neeson the voice of Aslan.
I exhort all of you, gentle readers, to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as soon as possible. I saw it this afternoon and it is marvelous! I was somewhat skeptical going in, considering Disney's wretched track record with films based upon fine literature and their dicey history when it comes to fair depictions of Christianity. But this film is FIRST RATE. It is without doubt the most faithful adaptation of a book onto film I have ever seen. Granted, it has been a year since I last read the story so I probably missed a few minor differences between Lewis' originally text and this film. But my strong impression today was that the screenplay was overwhelmingly faithful to the book (thanks be to God). The Christian allegory is all still there in full force. And the story is beautifully photographed. A big "thumbs up" from me. See it immediately!
Let you know. I See it this afternoon.
I saw it Friday night, we took the kids, 11 and 8. It was AWESOME! Wonderful acting by the four kids. Very impressive.
Actually I thought the reason the girls were the ones to see him die was a parallel of the Marys at Golgatha. Not that it was 'sexist' in some archaic way.
I'm relieved to hear they haven't messed with the book in re-defining the roles for modern prejudices. The one thing I really hated about The Lord of the Rings was the transformation of Arwen Evenstar into Xena, Warrior Princess. And a lot of my feminist women friends who had grown up with both feminism and LOTR said the same.
We saw it yesterday.
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