Sunday, June 27, 2010

Prince Caspian, the Movie: Regrettably, a Bummer

So I watched Prince Caspian for the second time. I tried to get into it. I really wanted to like it. I think it is so important to support family friendly movies no matter how cheesy they are, because they are so few and far between. Prince Caspian from a movie standpoint was very good. No obviously amateur actors. No cheap looking movie sets. No low-budget screenwriter. But I couldn't get past the gigantic gaps between the Prince Caspian C.S. Lewis introduced me to, and the Prince Caspian I saw in the movie.

Caspian in the book is uncertain about his fitness to rule as king. He fears that he is not ready to rule Narnia. He does not, however, have an unbridled sense of revenge towards his uncle that leads him to raid Miraz's castle (something which does happen in the movie).

Lewis's Peter tells Caspian early on that he did not come to claim the kingship for his own, but to help him regain his throne and establish Caspian as rightful king. Movie Peter has constant outbreaks of aggression towards Caspian as they engage in some kind of primal male posturing.

Oh yeah, and Caspian and Susan never have a barely cloaked passion for one another. In fact, in Lewis' book, there is no special chemistry between Caspian and Susan--ever.

I understand that of the seven Chronicles in Narnia, Prince Caspian is possibly the least movie-friendly book (the only rival for most boring movie screenplay being The Silver Chair, comprised of a long journey in the wilderness ending with one dramatic scene). The plot of waiting, gathering forces, trying to decide what an absent Aslan would have them do is not exactly thrilling big screen material.

Nonetheless, to depart so far from the character of the book as to, in my opinion, tamper with the integrity of the story, is intolerable, and that's the reason I won't watch Prince Caspian again, unless I just happen to forget how disgruntled it made me (I am still operating on about 65% of my ideal amount of sleep!).

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