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Prince Caspian: Impressions

May 28, 2008

 

 

I have been avoiding reviewing this film because I have very mixed feelings about its value. While I do not find myself in the crowd that despises the absolute dissection of C.S. Lewis’ original novel (I avoid association by having no respect for the novel in the first place), I do believe that as a standalone piece of art it fell far short of what it could have been. All of the pieces were in place to allow the returning Pevensie Children to shine in the world of Narnia, but instead the director chose to destroy their opportunity by including petty disagreements and multiple instances of the “blame-game.”

Throughout the film the characters communicated how sorry they felt for themselves by whining so much that the children in the audience cringed. The two leading characters of the cast, High-King Peter and Prince Caspian, squabbled for attention at the expense of everyone around them; neither of them ever successfully engaged in any on-screen activity and were both, in my opinion, a couple of blubbering idiots who needed to be euthanized, even if this meant changing the title of the film. 

Characters who were not whining were still completely unbelievable. Susan had a suspenseful near-death incident when she fell three feet (in terror-fringed slow motion). When she was not engaging in heart stopping falls she was slaughtering her enemies with stature-defying strength (using techniques taken straight from the quiver of Legolas in Lord of the Rings). Reepicheep was entertaining, but he had an unbelievable ability to move faster than men with legs ten times as long. This led me to believe that he was a teleporting mouse who was uninhibited by the restraints of gravity. Aslan, the christ-like lion, shows up at the last minute (likely due to the high price of Liam Neeson’s out of place voice) and proceeds to engage in acts similar to most deus ex machina, that is, acts unwarranted. 

However, despite all this I did not hate the film. Why? One character shone through the mirk: Edmund. The younger of the Pevensie brothers dominated all of his abbreviated screen time. He exemplified morale strength, courage and integrity. However, instead of capitalizing on this brilliantly created character they limited him to a minor, supporting role. I believe that if they cut out the majority of Peter and Caspian’s whining, bickering and cowardice; if they ended Susan’s antics, and instead, added more of Edmund the movie would have been amazing. If the movie were called The Chronicles of Narnia: King Edmund the Just, then I know it would be a brilliant film. Or, failing this, the filmmakers could simply give the other characters more of Edmund’s qualities.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. stonemarket permalink
    May 28, 2008 11:24 pm

    I completely agree with your comments on Edmund

  2. May 29, 2008 6:28 am

    the makers of Prince Caspian kept to the original story surprisingly well… i heard they were going to make it into a silly pure-action flick, but thankfully this was not the case

  3. unknown permalink
    May 31, 2008 9:33 pm

    Lucy’s charater also shone through with Edmund so I believe that “The voyage of the Dawn Treader” where Edmund and Lucy are very main charaters will be a better film.

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