Prince Caspian the film: Not quite Lewis
So the film has been only been out for three days but it is already being highly debated. Some are saying that it is much better than The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, while others say it is even further from Lewis’ original vision. Here are my two cents:
I think that it is a better film than LWW. The special/visual effects were MUCH better. The mythical creatures were more interesting. The land of Narnia felt…bigger. I believed in the magic a little more. And it was more fun to watch.
But I think the story was severely lacking. The characters (which I think is Lewis’ strength in storytelling) were lacking motivation. I didn’t really believe that Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy were once Kings and Queens of Narnia (even though we were reminded of the fact, often). The introduced conflict between Peter and Caspian felt petty. Much too petty for kings. More like two school boys fighting over the alpha male position. Susan spent a lot of the movie scowling rather than living up to her reputation of gentleness. I liked Edmund and Lucy though. They were the only ones who seemed to have grown from their years of reigning. I just didn’t believe that the characters were really fighting for the name of Aslan and restoring Old Narnia. Peter and Caspian, especially, seemed to just be fighting to prove something to themselves (or maybe each other).
There were too many battle scenes (esp. for a PG movie!) and most just felt like excuses to show off cool CGI (which was definitely cool). I want a pet Griffin now! But I don’t think that’s the point of Lewis’ writing. The whole movie was really interesting to see but it wasn’t Lewis. And I really like Lewis. I wanted to feel like he was telling me the story. Instead I felt like Hollywood was telling me a story (which they were). And they tell me a lot of stories. I wanted to hear from someone else for once.
Oh, well. Here’s to hoping maybe Michael Apted (director of the upcoming Dawn Treader) will let Lewis tell his story!