Just before “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” opens in theaters on May 16, Movieguide® will feature the full review of the movie. In anticipation of the movie, it is of utmost interest that “Prince Caspian” is a very exciting, fantastic epic in the tradition of “Lord of the Rings.”
Right up front it needs to be noted that the book has been re-imagined to make the movie. In most cases, this re-imagining has helped the drama considerably. Better yet, the filmmakers have kept the integrity of and even highlighted the theological points C.S. Lewis was trying to make. One would hope Lewis would be happy with the cinematic changes, although he was very critical of movies in general.
There are, however, a few minor divergences where media wisdom is required. So, don’t expect to see the book when you come to the movie. Expect to see a wonderful movie that retains the faith of the book.
The message of the book is the message of the book of Acts: How does one have faith in God, in the person of Jesus Christ, after His ascension? The book’s strong faith message remains in the movie, but it has been re-organized so that Lucy is the only one who sees Aslan until a critical point in the story, unlike the book where each one meets Aslan in his own faith walk. Some of this reorganization makes it appear as if the battles are within the authority and capability of the Pevensies, Caspian and other Narnians, but ultimately, it is God who determines the course of the Narnian civilization.
C.S. Lewis believed, as the Bible says, that, through Jesus Christ, God is redeeming all Creation. He sees the creatures as being redeemed along with the people. The creatures have their faith battles too. The movie clearly rejects evil, in the person of the bad Miraz and in the appearance of the White Witch, who was defeated in the first movie. The film contains a lot of sword fighting and action, which are reminiscent of the swashbuckling epics of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Even better news is that I had a long conversation with writer/director Andrew Adamson, and he decided not to use the wild party that Bacchus throws in the book. Andrew rightly believed that it was not appropriate to show children drinking wine at a raucous feast.
Despite some minor loose ends in the movie, the plot points are clear, the emotion is intense, the audience cheered and laughed at the right points, and even hard-hearted critics loved the movie. “Prince Caspian” should be a tremendous hit since 100 million copies of “The Chronicles of Narnia” have been printed.
Movieguide® commends the filmmakers for being faithful to the book’s themes. They turned a difficult plot into a terrific, exciting epic adventure.
To help you and your children and grandchildren understand the movie, I wrote “Narnia Beckons,” a fascinating glimpse of the life and ideas of the man behind the beloved children’s book series. While many books have been written to coincide with the movie’s release, “Narnia Beckons” has been featured by a number of reviewers who recognize it as the cream of the Narnia-commentary crop.
Jean Peerenboom of the Green Bay Press-Gazette writes, “If you choose only one of these books, (‘Narnia Beckons’) would be the one to go with.”
“Narnia Beckons” is an elegant coffee table book rich with photos relating to “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and other C.S. Lewis stories. The book is full of profound, enlightening, inspiring and discerning information and stories about the book from which the movie has been drawn.
Also included in “Narnia Beckons” is information about previous television adaptations of Lewis’ masterpiece as well as interviews with some of the key players producing the movie and leading Lewis scholars. There are also rare photographs of his English childhood haunts and profiles of family and friends.
Those who want to discover the inside story on “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “Prince Caspian” may now purchase “Narnia Beckons” at a significant 40 percent discount off the $24.99 retail price for $15 from movieguide.org or by calling 1-800-899-movie (800-899-6684).
(“The Chronicles of Narnia,” Narnia and all book titles, characters and locales original thereto are trademarks of C.S. Lewis Pte Ltd., and the commentaries herein represent a fair use of that material.)
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