June 9, 2008

REVIEW: The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince CaspianTHE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: Prince Caspian
Disney Pictures, Walden Media
Starring: Ben Barnes, Anne Popplewell, Skandar Keynes
In a nutshell: TCON: Prince Caspian is a darker, better, and more epic improvement over the first film.

3 years ago, C.S. Lewis captivated my mind with the Chronicles of Narnia. People may say that the series is an unforgettable one, but I for one forgot the lot of them, although I still remember (and got to remember) some key scenes depicted in the novel. And that's because of the fabulous and smart movie adaptation. OK, there are some tweaks for the sake of political correctness, and it loses some heart because of it, but those gripes are fairly minor for me and that's because the things done right in the movie outnumber by a landslide those that are done wrong.

But first, the story.

Set a year after the Pevensies left behind the world outside the wardrobe, they come back because Telmarine Prince Caspian has used Susan's horn for them to come back. How the prince got the horn Susan had in the first movie is what you'll find out earlier in the movie, and why Prince Caspian is escaping from his fatal fate you should also find out for yourself.

Thing is, however, Narnia isn't what is was supposed to be after the Pevensie siblings left the world. Their castle has been reduced to ruins, and the Narnian people have become an endangered species because of the Telmarines, and that's because 1 year in our world equaled to 1300 years in Narnia. Wow, talk about back to the future!

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian has some beatiful sets and shots, and the actors give justice to their roles. Maybe it's also really effective because of Adamson and Co.'s brilliantly intelligent adaptaion of the book because everything feels faithful and right to the source (except for some parts) and it's probably how Lewis himself would've imagined it.

Epic is the word for the battles and brilliant special effects employed in the movie. The beatiful surroundings and cinematography help in making the scenes look fantastic as well.

Political correctness
For the sake of political correctness, some Christian symbolism that are famous in the book are less prominent here, and that's to be expected. Susan also becomes an archer during that long and epic charging during the war scenes instead of waiting like the lady she is in the book. Those are fairly minor details and gripes however, and my enjoyment of the movie isn't really hampered because of them.

Too long!
Filmmakers could've done without the really, really long action scenes as it makes the movie too long at 2 hours 37 minutes! But personally, I didn't feel like time was slow because I had a really great time.

I like the movie, and it's faithful (or tries to be) to the source material. Narnia fan or not, it's really watchable and it has a lot of symbolism for you to interpret as well as a bunch of values for the children to learn. All in all, this new Narnia movie is a solid tribute to C.S. Lewis' masterpiece, as it further immortalizes the famous series splendidly.

Rating: 8.0/10

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