December 06, 2005

Narnia Watch

Jared posts a review that allays the vast majority of my fears about The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe:

Most of my readers will want to know how faithful the movie is to its source.

I am happy to say approximately 98% faithful. There are expansions on the text: for instance, thirteen words referring to the London air-raids in Lewis’s opening paragraph become the film’s first fifteen minutes. From then on, the film pretty much paints by the numbers, adding some dialogue and visual exposition, both of which are necessary to most any adaptation. The only significant addition I can think of is a stand-off between the children led by the Beavers and Jadis’ band of wolf police on a frozen waterfall that is rapidly thawing. This episode is not in the book, but it is a good and exciting scene and certainly does not detract.

A few writers, myself included, have wondered about where the movie places Susan and Lucy during the great battle. In the book, as Father Christmas presents Susan with a bow and quiver of arrows and Lucy with a bottle of healing potion and a dagger, he nevertheless says he does not intend for them to fight. “Battles are ugly when women fight,” Father Christmas says. Because of a few brief shots in the previews and because of the liberties Peter Jackson took with Arwen and Eowyn in his Lord of the Rings adaptations, Narnia purists feared Lewis’s traditionalism would give way to modern liberalism. Well, folks, you can relax. Father Christmas’ line has indeed been changed to simply, “Battles are ugly affairs," but while the battle rages, Susan and Lucy play the book’s roles of the comforter of the fallen Aslan, the two Marys at the tomb of the savior.

No, in terms of fidelity to the source, Adamson’s movie is remarkably faithful, expanding when necessary, subtracting little, and adding only when compelling.

Read the rest. He has some thoughtful criticism as well relating to the movie's storytelling powers.

Yips! to Jen.

UPDATE: Apparently Hugh Hewitt thinks Narnia is going to out-perform King Kong in total box-office reciepts. Jonathan V. Last thinks Hugh's bananas.

Posted by Robert at December 6, 2005 12:12 PM | TrackBack

I'm glad you saw that - I posted it thinking of you. =)

Posted by: jen at December 6, 2005 01:02 PM