Saturday, April 24, 2010

narnia revisited

One of the classes I teach is an intermediate-level reading class. We finished reading C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a couple weeks ago, and then we watched the recent Hollywood version. (I vastly prefer the BBC production from the '80s, but I knew my kids would be turned off by the special effects--or lack thereof!) While waiting for our next book to arrive, I had a few days to kill. We played Blurt!one day, which was a smashing success, but I worried we were too noisy. So the next day, I decided to show Prince Caspian via Netflix's instant streaming. My students are loving it. Me, not so much.

When I first saw Prince Caspian, I was less than impressed. I blogged about it, saying,
I saw Prince Caspian with friends last night. Entertainment-wise, I'd give it an A. But in terms of staying true to the story, a C- would be generous. (If you haven't seen the movie yet and plan to, it'd be best to skip to the next paragraph now!) I fell in love with The Chronicles of Narnia at a very young age. I've read the books (or had them read to me) three or four times, and I've seen the BBC version of Prince Caspian many times. I'd heard rumors that this movie changed many story details, but I had no idea how many! From a completely invented "storming the castle" battle to Caspian and Peter almost "freeing" the White Witch to Aslan not appearing until the very end of the movie, I couldn't believe all the changes. The last straw, however, was something I'd generally be all for: romance. But a romance between Caspian and Susan? Give me a break! When they kissed at the end, one of the guys I was with said (a bit too loudly) exactly what I was thinking: "Now they've ruined the movie!"
Having seen 3/4 of it again (we'll finish it on Tuesday), I can say my opinion hasn't changed at all. And I'm regretting showing it to my class, as they're getting the "reimagined" version without knowing the true story.

I do have some hope for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, though, thanks to this report. I'm glad the filmmakers have recognized they made mistakes with Prince Caspian. After Caspian, I wasn't sure I'd shell out my hard-earned money to see Dawn Treader in the theater, but now I probably will!

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