Monday, December 27, 2010

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

As one of our lovely vacation activities, we took the kids to see the Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  I don't want to post any spoilers, so I won't give away any details of the story.  If you want to read a review with which I wholeheartedly agree read here.  The review contains spoilers, just so you know. (Skip the part about William Wilburforce, C. S. Lewis, and social justice in the beginning.  It's apropos nothing, in my opinion.)

It was a great movie, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.  In my world, nothing quite compares to the Chronicles of Narnia and my childhood-into-adulthood attachment to that place.  It lives so vividly in my mind that when I was a graduate student at Wheaton College I made a pilgrimage to see the wardrobe, housed at the Marion E. Wade Center.  I can still remember the feeling I felt as I reached into the wardrobe and sadly, knocked on the back panel.  I just had to be sure (shakes head, deep breath)...well, back to the movie...

I was a bit concerned at first, because the movie changes and adds so much, but in the end, just as every time I have reached the end of this story, I was weeping.  If you are a purist, you will have to lay aside your ideals before walking into the theater.  If you are a movie-goer, just going to see a movie, you'll be entertained, but you won't really understand.  If you are still a child, familiar with the story and still possessing a wild imagination, this movie will satisfy. You may leave believing for a moment that the animated lion with the voice of liquid gold is real, and you could potentially encounter him on your way home from the movies.  But that is the glory of it all, is it not?  I think C.S. Lewis's intention was to show us the Great Lion through the eyes of a child.  He succeeded in his books, and the movie-makers have done a pretty good job rendering Aslan.  But the thing that grabs me every time whether in the book or in film versions, is Lucy's devotion to Aslan.  In the scenes where she encounters him, her response to him depicts so much love, so much absolute trust and surrender, so much awareness of her own need for him, that I come undone.  This part of the story remains intact in this movie.  I wish much more time was given to the scene in which Eustace is released from his dragon-ness...but that story may not resonate with everyone in the way that it does with me.  Even so, it was well-done.

If you are considering 3-D versus regular format, we only had one option at our theater, and that was 3-D.  I did not consider it the best choice, and would have preferred regular.  There were no spectacular things that made you feel you had to duck and cover, or make you feel as if you were flying, so with that in mind, choose regular format and save your money.  I also felt as if the movie needed to be focused better...it was not as sharp and detailed as I would have liked, and the colors (which were probably amazing) seemed dulled by the glasses.

Finally, watch very closely in the end, when the children are returned, and the painting is returned to its rightful place.  Try to notice the hanger.  Tell me if you notice anything about it...it went by so quickly that I'm not sure if I saw correctly...but I'm not going to say what it was I think I saw and spoil it...just leave a comment, and if you have not seen the movie, wait to read the comments until afterward.

Happy sailing!

2 comments:

  1. I didn't notice the hanger! Do tell!
    I also was sad that they didn't show more of the dragon-turning-back-to-Eustace process...it was meaningful to me too.

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  2. Sorry it took me so long to reply. The hanger in the end of the movie is the shape of a Celtic cross...as in, the whole story "hangs" on the redemptive story of the cross...

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