Thursday, May 14, 2009

Prince Caspian: The Movie

Astute readers may have noticed a common thread running through my recent posts. The film was actually the reason why I re-read CS Lewis' Prince Caspian.

Following the success of the Disney and Walden Media's movie version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the sequel was released in cinemas last summer. As you might recall, last summer was exceptionally busy, what with the exams, ordination, new jobs, new house, wedding and all that. We had hoped to see Prince Caspian while on honeymoon in Killarney, but it had finished showing a couple of days before.

I was destined to a patient wait for the DVD release. When it was released, it was consistently at £15.38 or so in Asda, and the other retailers were similarly high. Right through Christmas and afterwards, including the clearout sale at Zavvi, it was still too expensive. I was playing the waiting game for when it would be more justifiable.

Eventually, I found it on for £5, and it was ordered and dispatched. But then I had to wait until I had read the book, and Inside Prince Caspian too. The time had come, the DVD was to be watched, and... I didn't like it.

In fact, I didn't like it so much that I couldn't even watch it the whole way through. I lost interest, as it wasn't telling the story of Prince Caspian. In an attempt to make the film more dramatic than the book, the first thing we see is the birth of the heir of Miraz, and Caspian fleeing for his life.

Rather than being on a bench at a country train station (remembering that this is still during the Second World War), the four Pevensie children leave for Narnia in an underground tube station which is crowded with children, just after Peter has had a fight with another schoolboy.

Rather than the story being about the children's journey to Caspian, that is all completed very quickly, and the one-on-one duel between Peter and Miraz is replaced with an all-out storming the castle battle scene which is certainly not in the book!

I do think it's great that the Narnia stories are being brought alive through the movie world, I just wish they would stick to the stories themselves, rather than creating whole new stories which while more dramatic, don't quite fit with the image of Caspian's army as being unable to fight against the might of Miraz.

Some time soon I'll maybe try to watch it again, but for now, I'm not impressed!

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