18-May-2008

Movie Review - Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian

Friday nights always demand some activity that is soft enough to not burn your brains after a long work week, yet does not involve slumping over the couch in your house watching whatever is on offer on TV. Which is how, having gone for Iron Man with a colleague and finding that show timings had changed, I ended up watching Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian.

I have not read the series nor have I seen part 1. So cannot comment on whether the book is better than the movie nor give a context. But unlike a Lord of the Rings where the plot complications are such, it is difficult to make a brilliant movie no matter how good the special effects, I have been informed that this series is fairly simpler and lends itself to easier adaptation. At any rate, what emerged at the end was a good children’s fantasy that took me right back to the days of Enid Blyton and the like

The four children who originally found Narnia are ‘called’ back again after a year. Except that in the magical world of Narnia, many thousand years have passed and many changes have been wrought. The animals are wild and no longer speak, the trees have stopped moving, man and creatures of the forest don’t live in peace (in other words, the world has started resembling normal cities). The Telmarines rule, with the proxy king Miraz at the helm. When a son is born to Miraz, he immediately decides to dispose off the rightful heir, the young and dashing Prince Caspian. Caspian escapes and must get his throne back and bring peace onto the land like the good old days.

I can’t remember the last time I read books where young kids had weighty responsibilities resting on their shoulders. The storyline revolves a lot around being brave, and responsible and kind. No matter how bad the odds, good will always triumph over evil. All creatures of the earth have their place in the world and should not be disrespected. An Age of Innocence is evoked and is evoked rather well till you forget that you are no longer ten and will have to step into the realities of life once the movie is over. You simply sit and watch curiously as the kids face their own human foibles and eventually go back to the basic DNA of Narnia’s existence to bring everlasting (or till the next instalment) peace.

And then there are the special effects. The biggest grouse when you read a fantasy book is that the big screen does not quite capture the walking tree or the enormous palace in quite the same way as you had it in your mind. Not having read the book, I did not have a preconceived notion of what everything should look like. But boy, these things are getting closer to your imagination with every passing movie. Meshing together animated animals, dwarves, centaurs, moving trees and a furious river is not an easy task but the movie does manage it.

A good movie to watch if you want to a quick flashback into your childhood fantasy world.

4 comments:

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SK said...

I love Chroniclies of Narnia, and I can understand what you mean.
Life is so much simpler for kids. Good always wins, truth always triumps, kindness always pays. If only life were so easy. ;--)

deepsan said...

Watched the movie this week, it was good except for the excessive use of Deus ex machina.

Anita said...

sk - totally agree

deepsan - yup. the movie is not perfect.