May 21, 2008
Have You Seen It Yet?
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian movie is out. My family saw it on Friday night. Our kids were a bit troubled by how different it was from the book--noting that there was a lot more fighting! However, Maggie (11) also commented that she was really frustrated throughout the movie that Aslan didn't come to help them. And that is exactly the feeling that Lewis wanted to evoke in us.
I think the movie caught some of the most important themes--especially drawing our attention to how Lucy saw Aslan when the others and yet stayed with the others rather than following him.
USA Today had a very thoughtful review, saying, "The filmmakers faced the challenge of turning a beloved book with a slow plot into a modern film, but also one that retains the story's spiritual messages."
"The underlying messages are so important, and so vital to the story," says Douglas Gresham, Lewis' stepson and co-producer of the new film. "Which are the return to faith, truth, justice, honesty, honor, glory, personal commitment, personal responsibility. Also the message (that) no matter how far away we stray, there's only one way back."
If you are looking for a companion to your movie experience, or if you like me, need a reference to help you sort out what was and was not actually a part of Lewis's, you might look for A Reader's Guide to Caspian by Leland Ryken and Marjorie Lamp Mead. The authors provide a guided tour of Prince Caspian highlighting characters, setting and framework, with rich background details to enhance your reading of the story. Also included are questions designed for book discussion groups. An amusing review of the book says
Delving into literary forms and devices such as allegory and "rescue motif," they tastefully reveal the method behind the story's magic. And if you suspect these authors to be a couple heartless lab coats, eager to terminate the spirit of a masterpiece--rest assured.
Now is a great time to return to Narnia via the movies, Lewis's book or a literary companion. Aslan is waiting.