Monday, May 19, 2008

Dramatic License

I took some time this weekend to go and see the recently released The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, the second installment in the Disney-Walden Media film adaptations of the C.S. Lewis masterpieces. The film, on the whole, impressed me.

As anyone who has read a review of the film will know, director Andrew Adamson and his production and screenwriting team took considerably more license in this film than in the 2005 release The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The overall plot was unaffected, but parts of it were interchanged, shortened, or lengthened. The biggest difference in the timeline that I noticed was the almost total reduction of the time between Prince Caspian’s flight from his uncle’s castle and his meeting the Pevensie children. I can see the reasons for this change, however: in the novel, the longer time interval covers Caspian’s meetings with the various Old Narnians, which would take up too much screen time. Also missing was Caspian’s youth, which may cause confusion among viewers who have not read the novel and will not understand Caspian’s history. But, the overall plot was there, all the characters were there, and the themes were there, too.

I thought the concept and scene design were very well done, as was the actual cinematography. I was a little disappointed at the score. Harrison Gregson-Williams used themes from his score for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but it never swelled to the high point I expected, not even during the battle scenes. I also thought the character of Doctor Cornelius wasn’t developed enough, but that is probably due to the absence of Caspian’s youth onscreen.

I'm not a film critic, of course, but I would give this film three stars, and I am quite looking forward to the (expected) May 2010 release of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

This is Rubio, over and out.

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