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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Prince Caspian

It's been a LONG time since I read PC, so maybe it really is as lame as Frederica Mathewes-Green (whom I respect) says it is. But the movie didn't move me either. I wanted to like it and expected to enjoy it (it's gotten good reviews) but found it boringly predictable. Sorry. I felt like I was watching a remake of "The Return of the King" (LOTR #3) with details changed to protect the innocent. Great photography and entertaining enough in its own way, but definitely a movie I'll quickly forget.

But what do I know? I also saw Evan Almighty this weekend (which got HORRIBLE reviews) and found it to be cute and enjoyable. Maybe it's just a matter of expectations.

OTOH: FM-G thought that the LOTR movie trilogy was better than the print version, so what does SHE know?!


Scotte Hodel said...

LOTR movie > books? Heresy! I can hardly bring myself to watch them anymore. Nobility exists only among the elves in the movies.

Why am I so upset about the slander on Faramir's character, but not so much about actual important historical personages?

DavidHaddon said...

The big problem with PC the movie is that the endless crash of metal on metal of its two long battle-action scenes are hard to distinguish from the same kind of noisy action in the 10 minutes of action movie trailers that preceded the film--but last for the better part of 2 hours.

PC the book is a bit didactic in setting forth Aslan's demands for the obedience of his followers like Lucy--whose childlike trust makes him visible to her--but it's true. How many are calling Christians to speak the truth to friends who may not want to hear it.

I just reread the book thoroughly enjoying its simplicity. And I think I discovered a parallel between Prince Caspian's conversion from Telmarine to Narnian to Lewis's own pilgrimage of faith. See my blog.

David Haddon said...

And Scotte, you are upset about Peter Jackson's mangling the characters of Faramir and Frodo for the same reasons I am: 1) These stories--unlike actual history--are very important in forming the characters of the children who read them; and 2) Distortion of an exemplary character's character in translating a work of art from one medium to another exposes either a failure of the understanding or a disorder in the moral vision of the artist doing the translation.

DavidHaddon said...

After my first viewing of PC, I had planned to savage it in my review. But I went back to see it again and understood better what was going on.

Of course, Susan is characterized as a loner and a liar and Peter as a brawler before they get out of the London train station. This does help to explain why they can't see Aslan when he appears, but it is also a testimony to the decadence of the audience for which the screenwriters and director prepared this battle action feature. If they made Peter and Caspian as noble as they are in Lewis's book, they wouldn't be credible teenagers.

But things could be worse. We are lucky that Caspian can refuse to kill Miraz and get away with it. And the faith issue separating Lucy who can see Aslan and the rest and Edmund who has learned his lesson and believes Lucy even if he can't see him does come through.