Treading Dawn


My wife and I went to see the new Narnia movie on Christmas night. She thought it dragged, and while I liked it better, I guess I can see that. I complained before about what they cut out of Prince Caspian, and here it seems like they tried to keep in everything from the book plus more, and there really wasn’t an overarching plot to the book. The makers of the movie tried to tie everything together with the stuff about the swords and the evil fog, but honestly it just came across as tacked on, and added very little to the story. Some of the changes that were made were understandable (which is to say they’re things I might well have done if I’d been in charge of the screenplay), like combining Deathwater and Dragon Island into one place (I sometimes do that mentally anyway), keeping Eustace in dragon form for longer, and actually showing how Dark Island (as it’s called in the movie; I don’t believe the book gave it a name) is scary instead of just having someone tell us. I’ve heard that they had less of a budget for special effects on this one, since Disney dropped the series, but I didn’t notice any significant drop-off in quality. All of these movies so far have been visually impressive, and this is no exception. The dragon was well-rendered, and I wouldn’t mind having a copy of Coriakin’s magic book (even if the spells didn’t work). I do have to wonder if the lower budget is why they didn’t get Eddie Izzard to voice Reepicheep again, which I found disappointing.

I know some people on the Internet who are fans of Simon Pegg, but I don’t really know his work.

As with the first two, there was a clear attempt to add in more personal struggles for the main characters. Lucy’s is an extension of the brief mention in the book of her jealousy at Susan’s beauty. In the book, Lucy decides not to say the beauty spell, instead casting one that lets her eavesdrop on her classmates, for which she is gently chided by Aslan. I can see playing up the jealousy angle, but the party scene really didn’t make any sense. Because Lucy has become beautiful, she’s taken the place of Susan, and there isn’t a fourth Pevensie child? Yeah, I can’t say I understood it. I kind of suspect it was just a way to get Peter and Susan into the film, like how Edmund’s nightmares were an excuse to bring back Conan O’Brien Tilda Swinton as the long-dead White Witch.

If they do make a film of The Silver Chair, the first of the series in which none of the Pevensies occur, I wonder what they’ll do about that. Maybe they’ll have Swinton play the Lady of the Green Kirtle, like how the BBC version used the same actress for both witches.

Overall, I’d say the movie was well-made and generally faithful to the book, but a bit slow in some spots. I enjoyed it more than Prince Caspian, but does the public agree? I can’t say I’ve researched that.

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This entry was posted in C.S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia, VoVat Goes to the Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Treading Dawn

  1. vilajunkie says:

    I haven’t seen Prince Caspian yet and I haven’t read the books in ages (which I guess in the case of a movie adaptation is a good thing), so I’m on the fence about seeing this movie right now. Tilda Swinton as the Lady of the Green Kirtle makes sense since I know many readers confuse the two witches as the same person or sisters anyway. Is Disney really not making any more of these movies? Then why was the name Disney attached to it in the previews?

    • Nathan says:

      Maybe Disney still has some stake in the movies? I don’t know all the ins and outs, but I know this one was made on a lower budget.

      I’ve seen the Lady of the Green Kirtle compared to the White Witch, and I think Lewis drew connections between the two himself, but was the former from another world like the latter was?

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