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Prince Caspian Analysis ; May 18, 2008

Mood: content
Listening to: BT - This Binary Universe
Reading: nada

Alright—this will be a long one!

Well, I apologize for briefly turning inquisitivity into a Prince Caspian blog. What can I say? Narnia has been part of my life for years now. :)

I saw the movie! And it appears that I was wrong about a couple things in my last post. The Caspian/Susan romance was not cut out of the movie. The kiss at the end was a glaring screenwriting glitch and a ridiculous Hollywoodization - it had no basis, because Caspian and Susan had not interacted very much before it! But I guess it wasn't that big of a deal. It can be shrugged off. (My friends thought it was cute. xD)

The theme of faith was not as strong as I would have liked. It seemed like the character of Peter really ruined things...thinking he could do everything without Aslan's help (until his night raid on Miraz's castle failed). And why would Peter be enticed by the White Witch, when he himself had watched Aslan defeat (or eat) the Witch in LWW? Besides, I thought the White Witch scene was really unnecessary and overdone, especially with the hag's incantation...it made me really cringe and sort of squish back in my seat, because I didn't like it at all...until Edmund saved the day of course. :)

I did like how Trufflehunter was always the loyal badger and the true Narnian. His character didn't meet my hopes of sort of embodying the faith theme, but they did a really good job of making him the same lovable character that he is in the book.

I loved the scene where Lucy was dreaming, and how the trees parted for her and she walked through them and talked with Aslan. It captured some of the emotion from the scene in the book, but not quite enough...partly because it was a dream! Which brings me to my next point...

I decided on what I think is the key difference between the book and the movie. Book: Pevensies see/speak with Aslan before the battles. Movie: Pevensies don't see Aslan until after the battles are over (except Lucy). I feel like that single change gave the second half of the movie a completely different dynamic: the characters were sort of at a loss, the conflict seemed unguided, Aslan wasn't important enough. It kind of mixed up the whole structure of the story.

But all analyzing aside, I was extremely pleased with the movie. My expectations were met, if not exceeded. Cinematography, music, acting, costumes, computer-generated imagery, nods to the book (like Tarva and Alambil, Bulgy Bear, apple trees), everything...it was all great.

Favorite shot: Miraz's view through the telescope, watching Edmund, Glenstorm the Centaur, and Wimbleweather the Giant approach. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. :)

And of course, Skandar Keynes was quite impressive as Edmund. But maybe I'm biased. ;)

8:48 PM  |  

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Comments (3)

Anonymous Sarah Clarkson wrote:

Ooh, I agree. Good review. I think I had a slightly more vehement reaction, but you said it just right when you observed that Aslan's presence seems to be missing from the movie. That was my complaint with the first movie, and simply continues to be. To me, the love of Aslan, the longing for his presence, the pain at his absence, pervades the entire Narnia series. There is none of that in the movie. And without that, I have to say that Narnia just isn't Narnia.

I don't expect filmmakers to follow a book exactly, but I much more deeply value a film if I feel that it has been true to the intent, if not the exact letter of the book. I don't know that Caspian achieved that. My last bit of outrage: doesn't anyone know what dryads are?

What did you think about the choice to entirely leave out the scene with Bacchus and Aslan's march through the countryside?

That said, good movie. A worthy rip roaring fun watch - great effects and music. It's made me want to go back and read the book, and that's always a good thing!

Blogger Sarah wrote:

Oh, rest assured that my many different reactions were very vehement. :D I completely agree that without Aslan, Narnia isn't Narnia, and the movie didn't portray that. I don't think the movie stayed true to the spirit of the book—and that's really what was missing from the whole thing.

As for dryads—well, I think they had to stick to how they established dryads in the first movie (floating petals and such). And it would be really hard to make trees look like people (and stick to the book's description), without getting unrealistic or too close to Ents!

Yeah, I was extremely disappointed that the "celebration" scene was only like 20 seconds long and it was just people going through a street. It would have been so much fun to see Bacchus and Silenus, and the little boys being turned into pigs (hehe), but I think it's okay that it was left out because it would have made the ending too busy and confusing—along with making the whole movie longer!

Anonymous Megan Price wrote:

Nice points. Miss you Sarah!

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