Saturday, May 17, 2008

Prince Caspian, My Review

(Warning: Spoilers)

Well, I went to see Prince Caspian (PC) last night. My review is simple, good movie, bad translation. If anyone is only a moderate fan of the Narnia books, this movie will suit them. If anyone is a die-hard Lewisian, like myself, he will walk away with his mind in a funk.

Allow me to get started with my litany of goods and bads.

The Storyline: My primary complaint. Imagine writing PC's storyline on a strip of paper, cutting it into tiny pieces, and then arbitrarily putting it back together, eliminating random parts, and adding random parts that weren't there before. The horn blowing, the conspiracy, the battles, and key characters had different placements and durations in the movie as in the book. In this regard, it was a asinine perversion of the book.

The entire war, which presumably lasted years in the book, went a whole week in the movie. The presence of all the various and sundry inhabitants of Narnia uniting to eliminate Miraz was a patriotic scene. I got a kick out of the automatic firing trebuchets used by Miraz's army. It was like a machine gun trebuchet. I chuckled.

I thought the elimination of the post-resurrection romp from LWW could not be topped. But alas, it was. There was no holiday parade and revelry in the movie. Aslan's return should have been a celebrated event! This is a key part of the book, but it was completely skipped. I cannot understand how Gresham could have allowed this. Caspian's nurse has no part in this movie. No mean boys turned into pigs. No Aslan breaking into a house to heal Caspian's nurse. No Bacchus and his madcap girls. No fat Silenus on his donkey. In essence, Adamson has completely eliminated my favorite part of the book from the movie. Yes, he had the river god, but that was just eye-candy.

Peter: As with LWW, Peter's character was tolerable. Adamson did go out of his way to include character traits that weren't present in the book. Peter and Caspian had a falling out, which was never really justified. It rang of the superiority complex he had in LWW.

Edmund: Very good. Having been a primary recipient of Aslan's grace in the first movie, he was a humble and obedient servant to the best interests of the group. He stuck up for Lucy, which is true to the book, and was depicted valiantly in the movie.

Susan: Ug. What can I say? The book made Susan one who was always wanting to be an adult. The movie does the same. You see her in full tilt warrior mode in this movie, which is very good.

Lucy: Ms. Henley is a great Lucy, but my that girl is growing up. They better snap to it in filming VDT, or they're going to have a Lucy that appears very grown up. Adamson did a good job of making her appear queenly in the movie. In fact, all four took on a noticeable air of nobility shortly after they entered Narnia. I liked that.

Aslan: Bigger. More affectionate (finally, thank you Andrew!). But still, where's the green eyes? Like in LWW, very important segments involving Aslan were sacrificed to brevity. The part where he plays with Trumpkin, is reduced to a roar. Honestly, a roar. I just sat there and shook my head. It was embarrassing.

Trumpkin: Not a jolly old cynic like in the books, but a very low key and industrious dwarf. Though not like the books, I liked this Trumpkin, but still would have preferred the jolly old atheist depicted in the books.

Trufflehunter, Pattertwig, Nickabrick: These are adequate. They suffer from diminished roles, but all in all, they are the same as in the book. Trufflehunter is as true as can be, while Pattertwig is rarely seen, but is reminiscent of that silly squirrel in Over the Hedge. Nickabrick is not nearly as over the top violent, and even appears a true friend and ally during most of the movie. The book draws him as malevolent from the start, while the movie gradually reveals his malevolence.

Reepicheep: Good ole Reep. I had some concerns, but he is as noble a mouse as in the book. Very proper speaking, and absolutely a fearless warrior. Adamson nailed Reep! I wish the scene with the wounded Reep would have depicted him a little more... wounded. The book said it was just a heap of fur. But the movie just appeared to have a war weary mouse on a stretcher.

Caspian: Too old for this movie. Too timid. He was cast for the girls. Normally I hate it when characters change between movies but if Barnes is replaced in VDT, I will not complain.

Trees: Well, the trees were almost too much. In the book, the mere sight of walking trees was enough to scare the Telmarines out of their skins. But these trees were in complete war mode. It was honestly almost too much.

Werewolf and Hag: Very good. I liked, but wish the entire scene had it proper place in the story.

Well, that is it. I may post more in the future, I may not.

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