Thursday, May 29

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian movie reciew

I only knew the story of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and when I saw the first movie, I was disappointed. The kids were engaging and even though I like James McAvoy, I just didn't like it as a whole, it was enchanting enough or enthralling as it should be. Even though I thought this movie was going to be boring and less enchanting, I was pleasantly surprised. When the movie starts, we are taken to a less than pleasant Narina, inhabited by humans and blood, death, birth and betrayal. Everything is dull and gray. The four siblings don't appear until apart 20 minutes into the movie and are surprised to find things have changed. Now all the fairy tale creatures and living nature are regarded as myths in Narnia and they are called 'Narnians." The Telmarines are humans that came from our world and are medieval-like. The actors portraying Telmarines in this movie are mainly from Mediterranean (Spanish, Italian, or Portuguese) countries; using Slavic, Mexican, and South American actors.

But Prince Caspian is played by the hunky Ben Barnes, who is actually British and his fake Spaniard accent sounds more like Fez's rival Tomas (Nick Gonzalez) from "That 70's Show." I thought he would be an exciting thrill-seeking character but unfortunately he is a lame duck, a dull easily-swayed dunce. And unlike the theory of the Telmarines, the mythical creatures are abound. Caspian was given Susan's horn to call the 'Four Kings and Queens' of Narina. In their last visit, the siblings lived until their thirties as peaceful kings, but when they left, all hell broke loose. So the kids deal with the fact that they were once adults and no longer are treated as such, this tickles the fancy of the pompous adults as well. Italian actor Sergio Castellitto plays the antagonist King Miraz with zeal, apathy and loads of cockyness. The kids have of course grown but the one that has grown the most is Skandar Keynes as Edmund. He has gone from an ugly child to a budding teeanger in bloom.

The story is long and slow, but chock full of goodies. There is the usual Christian undertones, like when Lucy sees the M.I.A. Aslan and Peter wants proof, she says, "Maybe we need to prove ourselves to him." When Caspian is disenchanted with the 'help' the Pevensie siblings, he is tempted to call the White Queen, in her short cameo, there is lots of allusions to pagan rituals and the devil of course. Peter is then tempted by her, but it was up to Edmund who was tempted by her before, to break off the communication. It was in an awesome scene, he was cool and collected and made a snide comment to his elder brother who once berated him for betraying them.

Director Andrew Adamson, the director of the first Shrek movies, used to parody movies but here he full makes the fairy tales come alive and makes them interesting and compelling to our time, timeless but also modern at the same time. Evident by the tongue-in-cheek dialog, when asked about their ages, Peter replies that it is confusing for them as well. Susan and Caspian were obviously paired, as many of these modern movies go, but it is low-key. Adamson says, "The kids are growing up. If you look at Ben and you look at Anna, it seems really implausible that they wouldn't have some feelings for each other." He knew it had to be "sensitively handled" though, and ultimately it is not about romance, but "[accepting] the fact that you can have a wondrous experience, enjoy it and move on".

The movie is a great ride. Also a very smart movie. It might be a Disney movie, but there is blood, death and consequences abound. If you never seen the first movie, this will be so-so. If you never read the book like me, you'll like it. But if you have read it and seen the BBC version, maybe you won't like it.