So, I went to see Prince Caspian this weekend. Twice, actually, but I’m not a freak. *Glances up at blog header* Okay, so I’m not that big of a freak. There’s actually a good explanation for my double feature, but I’ll spare you and just get to the film.
Those who have not read the C.S. Lewis novel should love the film. As far as movies go, it is much tighter, more suspenseful and action-packed than the first Narnia film. Those who have read the book, should love the film as well, as long as they are able to put aside nit-picking to enjoy a good story and a fantastic ride.
Surveying the internet, I grow so tired of C.S. Lewis “experts” who are little more than bloggers (heh) and message board commenters, explaining to any and all who will read that “Jack (Lewis’ nickname by close friends) would not have wanted this way.” Many of them are aghast at changes made to Caspian. While I share many of their concerns, the film, as is, flowed much better on screen than a straight adaptation of the book would have.
The conflicts, both external and internal, are established from the outset of the film. Caspian must flee his home and his rightful place as king because his usurping uncle has just had a son, who he wants to reign instead of the prince. The Pevensie children are struggling with their yearlong absence from Narnia. Peter, especially, has found it difficult to return to being “just a kid.”
The story builds to the climatic battle, as in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but as Aslan tells Lucy, “Things never happen the same way again.” The unusual power structure with the four kings and queens from old Narnia and the new rightful king, causes conflict and poor decision making, which leads to death and defeat. Of course, eventually humility and courage win the day, but not before tremendous sacrifice is made.
Many of the minor characters are scene stealers – especially Reepicheep the mouse and Trumpkin the dwarf. Fans of the book will also notice Pattertwig the squirrel, Glenstorm the centaur and the Bulgy Bear. While unnamed, each maintains much of their personality from the novel.
To answer the questions raised in my last post. Yes, I did cry when Lucy and Aslan talked. However, the most emotional scene for me (and my wife) was the failed raid on Miraz’ castle. I may not be an accurate indicator of how most will react to the film since I get chills every time I see the words “based on the books by C.S. Lewis” on the screen.
The film is a great summer blockbuster with timeless values and eternal truths. If you’ve seen many movies lately, you know that’s hard to find. Go see it – more than once if need be. 😉 If for no other reason than I will cry if they don’t make all seven books into movies. Trust me. You don’t want to see me cry like that. Go see the movie. “For Narnia and Aslan…and so Aaron won’t cry!”