The inaugural post on this blog was titled “Children who talk about Narnia… and it was a review of the movie The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. My children have been anticipating the release of the second movie, Prince Caspian, ever since they saw the first one. As many of you know it was released a few weeks ago. All the group of four families attended together, and the general consensus was that it was very enjoyable. Naturally there was much discussion afterwards about deviations from C.S. Lewis’ novel.
The first deviation the children commented on was the kiss between Susan and Caspian at the end. They had been expecting some romance just from watching the trailer and sure enough, it was there. Many knowing looks passed between Susan and Caspian from their first meeting on. Our children were not impressed. I found it amusing that, while on the battle field, Susan would pause, with arrows flying all around her, to see if Caspian was alright and Caspian did likewise even though swords flashed on all sides.
When group of four met later in the week we were able to spend some time discussing what we had liked and disliked about the movie. Many of us agreed that the portrayal of Peter was disappointing. At times he was more of a proud but petty schoolboy than a high king of Narnia. He and Caspian often appeared to be competing against each other rather than working together towards the same end. As L13 pointed out, in the novel the children meet up with Caspian and Peter reassures him that they did not come to take his throne but to put him on it. Similarly we felt that Aslan was not given the prominence he should have had. His appearances were few and brief and his great power was played down.
We thought the night raid on Miraz’s castle was an odd addition to the plot. Peter acted contrary to the advice of others, made the assumption that Aslan was not coming and achieved nothing. Why was the night raid added in and other parts of the story left out?. More celebration after the victory at the fords of Beruna, Caspian’s reunion with his nurse and the schoolboys being changed into pigs are just a few scenes we were hoping for.
Visually the film was impressive. The costumes, the sets, the scenery were all excellent. Apparently Miraz’s castle was built specifically for the film and then completely demolished after filming. All the creatures, both great and small, were very well done. Reepicheep was the chivalrous warrior we expected and the Trufflehunter the wise badger.
Trumpkin, I thought, played the part beautifully. He had the perfect mix of stubborness, pride and humour. Caspian also was well cast. Just before we watched the movie we saw an interview with Ben Barnes (Caspian) explaining that the inspiration for his Mediterranean accent came from Inigo Montoya in Princess Bride. We kept waiting for “you killed my father, prepare to die!”
Lucy was just as appealing this time as she was in the first movie. Of all the children she appeared to have grown the most but was still the trusting, forgiving and fun-loving Lucy we saw in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Despite our discontent with some aspects of the movie, we still enjoyed it very much. The deviations from the book did not stop us from being captivated by an adventure in Narnia. We wondered though, whether someone with no knowledge of the book would be able to work out how it all fitted together. A good reason to read the book. Mind you, my opinion has always been read the book, then see the movie.
I’ve heard different reviews of this movie and I’m always interested in reading more. I think it’s neat that you discussed it in your group of 4. I agree with you, too, about reading the book before seeing the movie.
I must say I agree with this review for the most part.
Personally, I was not a fan of the romance. It wasn’t in the book. I suspect they did the extra raid on the castle to show off the cool set. There was no such requirement for the romance. The movie wouldn’t have missed anything by not having it.
For once, I didn’t mind Reepicheep. Normally, I want to run him through with my own sword! Not so in this movie. There was something about him that reminded me of Puss In Boots from the Shrek movies. If only Antonio Banderas did the voice of Reepicheep, then it would have been complete. 🙂