If it Ain’t Broke

Don’t “fix” it.  Period.

You might say I’m a little peeved, or miffed.  Whatever, I’m just annoyed.  What’s brought on all this upset?  A movie.  A movie I had been looking forward to seeing for several months.  One that I had worked up in my mind.  I should know better than to have lofty expectations, especially if it has anything to do with the entertainment industry.  Nine times out of ten, there is a “target” audience.  There’s money to be made.  The integrity of a story is really just not up on the list of priorities when it comes to making a movie.  At least, that’s what I took away from seeing The second installment of The Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian.

First off, had I had any clue as to how violent this one was, I would not  have taken Jonah.  I have read the books, and I thought I knew what to expect.  While Jonah was pretty distracted, and pretty bored throughout the film.  I was pretty surprised at how much they focused on the battles and less on the children, their journey, and Aslan. 

While I realize there are many who did not care for the first one as much, I loved it.  It stuck to the story, which was what I just loved about it, and did not spell everything out for you.  There was something left to the imagination.  Not so in Caspian.  Oh, the director and writers had plenty of imagination, so much that they added completely new things to the story!  I caught myself several times leaning over to Jason to say, “I don’t remember that…” or “But what about….” or “What is this?!” 

Before I go on I must say that they did get some things right.  Many of the new Narnia characters like Reepicheep, Trumpkin, Trufflehunter, Miraz, and Caspian were spot on.  Reepicheep was about the only character Jonah cared about at all.  He was depicted exactly as he is in the books – full of bravery, honor, and pride – and so very cute. Parts of the movie stick very well to the book and they managed to get across some poignant lines and themes, but still . . .

C.S. Lewis was a master wordsmith.  When reading any of his stories there always seems to be a sense of delayed gratification, a need to trust the author.  While Lucy longs to wait for a go to Aslan (who she knows can help them) but gives in to Peter and then Caspian – two headstrong, prideful guys who frankly get tired of waiting and decide to strike out on their own, utilizing their own hasty plans, much to the detriment of the others.  This theme of seeking out Aslan/patience/trust is kind of muddled as the movie itself pushes past some subtle and – in my opinion- essential themes and poignant pieces of dialogue to get to “more exciting” things like battles, flashy animation, oh – and a made up romance. 

It just seems like that the makers of Caspian underestimated their audience.  It’s like offering boxed mac and cheese to a Food & Wine critic. 

So I’ll quit griping.  It looks like they’ll make The Voyage of the Dawn Treader too – let’s hope they get that one right! 

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3 thoughts on “If it Ain’t Broke

  1. I struggled a little with the changes, right from the moment that Caspian took an “out of book chronology” action early on. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but there’s still part of me that wanted to see the themes of the book better depicted. Trust and patience are difficult things to expend screen minutes on when you have all of Weta at your disposal, I guess.

    They could have been nicer to Patterwig, too. Poor squirrel.

  2. I haven’t seen Prince Caspian, yet. I’m not sure if I really want to. Switching mediums from print to film is difficult, but I wonder why the powers that be can’t just stick to the original story. Sigh.

    Now, the new Indiana Jones movie, that one I can’t wait to see!

    Thanks for sharing your review.

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