Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My experience of Narnia

While Em's been out at her staff meal I've been to see The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe with Phil, Rich & Nicky and Ruth. Much fun.

The first observation was the excessive adverts and trailers. That did give me a first glimpse of the new superman film depicting humanity with a great capacity for good... and more promisingly Pirates of the Caribean 2. Finally after half an hour the film began.

It goes as read that the plot is excellent. Its a great kids adventure story with some extra depth for those who know where to live. You'd not guess what C.S. Lewis probably intended from the book or the film, unless you know the Christian story. But thats because its allegorical. Having produced my own version of this story in Bulgaria in July the story is fresh in the mind and it's basically faithfully done.

The acting is obviously lead by the children. This is always a tightrope to walk. They do well I think. None are stunningly good but they hold the fort well. Tilda Swinton plays a good White Witch though not as evil as I'd have her. Still, its a PG isn't it! Thats the human front, the rest is down to CGI. Director Andrew Adamson (Shrek) is clearly familiar with animation and the CGI characters work well. The cockney badgers were fun, and Liam Neeson just about worked for me as Aslan. The Aslan CGI is good though inevitably not as overwhelming as the human imagination can manage.

CGI battles are now familiar from the Lord of the Rings. Kingdom of Heaven managed a pale imitation. Narnia gives us much more colour and once you forget that the budget is lower its good and the target audience lower, its enough quality. I'd read a number of reviews that were really critical of the production quality. Its fairly good. There's a new mountain range scenes that look much more studio than New Zealand but thats ok.

As Eds mum observed Polly Toynbee is wrong. The film is no Christian diatribe. Its not the greatest gift to evangelicals in 2000 years (or even since Mel Gibson). Lewis doesn't teach a particuarly clear doctrine of atonement in his allegory. Much better to read the actual stories in the Jesus' biographies in the Bible. I remain amused by the way that the film has brought secularist to a welcome degree of honesty about Christianity, or at least the twisted version of it that they've picked up from somewhere.

My verdict, its a good family film. The book remains better.

See also:
Repugnant Christianity
Offended by grace