Yes, a new age has begun in Narnia, but the focus of this newest rendition of the classic Narnian tale "Prince Caspian" falls short of the mark the book left for it to reach.
With continuous comments such as
Lucy: "I was so tall"
Susan: "You were older back then"
Peter: "I wasn't always a child"
the movie would have more aptly been title Back When We Were Grownups but, since that title is already taken, perhaps Remember When We Were Grownups would also suffice.
There are obviously certain items that must be changed in any translation. There are some forgivable translation "errors" and some unforgivable ones. This movie is riddled with both.
I understand why they had to begin the movie in the fashion they did (though they could have made it harder for the Pevensie's to figure out they were in the ruins of Cair Paravel), but seriously, must Peter be portrayed in such a high-and-mighty fashion?
Peter (to Trumpkin): "High King Peter, (pause) the Magnificent"
Susan: "I think you could've left the last part off"
So, I do understand why they would cause such an adjustment in Peter, but that causes focus to shift from what Lewis emphasized in his work, and completely adds an unnecessary dimension to the story. But I can understand their rationale.
But must Susan and Caspian "fall in love?" I was seriously hoping they would not add that in the movie (not to mention it could cause for a sticky situation in Dawn Treader). I mean COME ON, really. Again, it totally detracts from Lewis' work (and the kiss was even more unnecessary than their feelings for each other).
Susan: "Why don't you hold on to it [her horn]. You might need to call me again."
Susan: "It never would've worked, anyway."
Caspian: "Why not?"
Susan: "I am 1300 years older than you..."
Adding the White Witch definitely added conflict to Disney's version, but utterly went against Lewis' intentions. Lucy was still herself, Reepicheep rocks, and Edmund's character came across nicely (in fact, him and Peter seemed to have swapped places from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, which shouldn't be the case AT ALL, but ...), but Aslan played a terribly small part in the movie when he permeates the book.
I did (thankfully) know going into the movie that it did not stick to the book. The article (in World magazine) that I read said that most fans would be pleased with the movie rendition, and that only the die-heart purists would be disappointed. That would be me.
So, I said that Prince Caspian was a "Must See Movie" do I know have cause to eat my words? Yes and no. In spite of all of the problems in adaptation that I pointed out (which only scratch the surface of some interpretive issues) I actually really did enjoy the movie (in spite of the stupid "romance" which detracts, even if separating from the film from the book), as long I did not at all compare it to the book. As a movie not based off of a novel it was pretty good. But, like almost every movie adaptation, it misses the mark ... big time when compared to the actual novel. However, great lessons can be learned from this latest edition of Prince Caspian. You may not want to take your small children to go see this movie even if they were okay with the first movie (this movie has more violence and "fantastic" [in the classical sense of the word] creatures), but Caspian is worth seeing.
1.5 out of 5 stars.
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