Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.


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Monday, December 19, 2005

Lionizing Narnia

We saw the Narnia movie yesterday and I am glad to say that it was excellent. My two worries were that:

1) It would depart too radically from the book, violating basic themes or changing key characters gratuitously. This was my big issue with the LotR movies - I think I must be the only person I know who adores the trilogy but didn't like the movies very much. In this case, the movie version of LWW, while certainly adding new dialogue, action scenes, and character bits to the text, stayed true to the spirit and important elements of the book. Some of the additions even improved on the original - e.g., an opening scene set during the bombing of London, setting up the need to send the children away from the city.

2) It would put too much emphasis on the underlying Christian allegory of the book. Here, I feel the movie very skillfully toned down this key element just enough (contrary to fears that the opposite would occur). The allegory remained in place for those who sought it, while it was handled with enough subtlety that those that didn't, could fully enjoy the movie without it being obvious or intrusive. As an existence proof, one person I saw it with had never read the book, and was unaware that an allegorical meaning of Aslan's death was even intended until I mentioned it afterwards.

All in all, for all of us who grew up with these delightful, charming books, and for a new generation ready to discover their grandparents' Harry Potter for the first time, I heartily recommend this magical journey into the Lion's realm.

4 Comments:

At 12/20/05, 1:01 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

I thought that Jackson did a very fine job with the LOTR. You are the only person I know that didn't like the movies, at least of those who love the books. Not that any of this matters.

On a complete side note I had a couple of geeky discussions earlier this year on my blog. At the time I had Haloscan installed. I have since removed it and lost a bunch of good comments, but in any case you might find these to be interesting:

http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/2005/05/star-wars-versus-lord-of-rings-which.html
http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/2005/05/lord-of-ringsstar-wars-discussion.html

 
At 12/20/05, 8:16 AM, Blogger Elie said...

I wouldn't go as far as saying that I actively disliked the LotR movies, but I enjoyed them much less than I expected to. My problem is I know the books too well, and too many of the plot and character changes they made felt pointless and damaging. A good overview of these issues can be found here under "MOVIE-GOER'S GUIDES".

 
At 12/20/05, 1:52 PM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

I understand. I was disappointed in some of the changes and was kind of hoping to see Tom Bombadil.

But given the scope of the project I was pretty happy. Although I must say that I never bought into Sean Bean as Boromir. He wasn't big enough to fill those shoes.

 
At 12/20/05, 3:45 PM, Blogger Elie said...

Yeah, I missed Bombadil, though that was the most obvious part to cut. But Robin Williams was born to play that role!

The changes that bothered me the most though, are the ones where the movie tampered with central plot motifs or changed important characters significantly. There are some good exammples on the ARDA web site, especially under "The Two Towers" section. I won't repeat them here.

 

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