I enjoyed reading The Chronicles of Narnia a few years ago. I found them to be an enjoyable set of fantasy novels.
With C.S. Lewis’ Christian perspective, I found them to be filled with great analogies (and I would venture to say some doctrinal inferences) on Christianity and discipleship. In short, I found them to bring me closer to Christ, when considered appropriately.
It should come as no surprise, then, that I would be interested in the film versions of the novels.
Prince Caspian is an interesting novel. It involves a restoration, a renaissance, a rebirth of faith among the key characters, the Pevensie children who have been away from the mystical land of Narnia for several years. Near the midpoint of the novel, after years of absence from this land of faith, the youngest girl (Lucy) spots Aslan, the god-like lion figure. Or does she? She begins to question and doubt. The others disbelieve. However, Lucy’s faith wins out, and as they travel, they each begin to see at first the form and shadow and ultimately the entirety of Aslan. With Aslan involved and faith restored, the battle and central thematic conflict, though ugly, is largely won due to this restoration.
Unfortunately, the film version nearly leaves this key point out of it. The restoration anticlimactically takes place at the very end, after the battle is over. Aslan comes to the rescue, but only after an action-oriented horse race to find him.
Grand interpersonal themes of pride and arrogance are hinted at but never fully explored or discussed.
The dancing aspect near the end of the book, an element of pure, communal, triumphal joy, is completely eliminated from the story altogether.
The narrative is all contorted. Instead of following the novel’s engaging flashback format, the story is told in a more confusing and less compelling linear fashion.
In short, the movie, while entertaining and worthwhile, was a bit of a disappointment.