Monday, January 7, 2008

What Lies in Store for Prince Caspian?

Check out my article on the upcoming Prince Caspian movie at hollywoodjesus.com. Will Hollywood manage to re-create the subtle suspense of the second book of the Chronicles of Narnia? Here's a sample from the article:

One overlooked feature of the story is the complicated exposition that C. S. Lewis manages to pull off in the second book of the Chronicles, subtitled The Return to Narnia.

The first three chapters are actually almost a detective story: the four children are in the most humdrum circumstances possible, as opposed to the scenario in the last book. No longer hiding out from bombs in London, they are back in peacetime and on their way to school. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, they are pulled off the train platform and into someplace that they feel should be Narnia. But it’s not.

And Lewis manages to keep you guessing. There is no lamppost, no snow, no sign of anything magical. Just trees. And a deserted seashore. They don’t recognize where they are at all. Instead of being invited to tea by a faun, they confront hunger and thirst right away and are forced to stop acting like schoolchildren and start thinking like the resourceful former adults they were when they left Narnia. Thus they are forced to act like Narnians without even being sure that they are in Narnia, a masterful stroke.

Lewis keeps the plot moving as the children discover the apple orchard. the old courtyard, and finally the treasure house of Cair Paravel, where they recover their gifts and recognize that they are really and truly back in Narnia. But by this time the answer opens up far more questions: what has happened to Narnia? Where is everyone they knew before? And why have they been brought back?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome article; thanks for your insight. I share your fears as well. If you watch the trailer (accessible through www.narniaweb.com)it appears that Lucy and Susan recognize where they are as Narnia almost immediately. Oh well, we'll just have to wait and see and hope for the best. ~Mae

Alyssa said...

Very interesting comment!!!!

Anonymous said...

yay for regina! some of my friends have problems with the trailer because they think caspian looks too old, but in all actuality he would have to be at least fifteen to seventeen in the story, which c.s. lewis would have certainly considered still a child, but my problem is, like your the almost obvious rewriting at the beginning. there's no way caspian himself could show up to take them back because nuber one he didn't know who was coming or if they would even come, and two his army was in the middle of a battle! and the woods, they looked pathetic, it says in the book that they could hardly see in front of themselves... gah! crazy hollywood. i don't know if you've ever heard the focus on the family radio theater verzions of the stories but if they can complete the lion the witch and the wardrobe in two 40 minute cds and keep 99.9% of the real story in and hollywood can't do that in two and a half hours???? we've got prblems. thank you for listening to my hollywood rant.

dominique

Elizabeth said...

Has anyone noticed that in the trailer there's a quick shot of the White Witch?? Rather worried that they may do something really different...

Alyssa said...

I haven't seen any trailor now, but I'm very concerned here.... Hollywood better not do something fishy.

Josh said...

Awesome comment on the butchering of the Moria scene in LOTR! Have you by chance done an overall critique of the Peter Jackson LOTR movies? I would love to read it if you have.

Anonymous said...

Great article! It's a shame that with all the wonderful options in the little things (cinematography, soundtrack, etc), the things that really matter (the characters and the story) are, in effect, secondary. Of course, that doesn't prevent me from going to see it, but I'm not expecting much in the faithfulness-to-the-book department.

I thought it was interesting what you said about Moria in The Lord of the Rings, too. As much as I love the book, I never really thought about it. People get worked up over the loss of Tom Bombadil, changing of Faramir's character (which, I think, is one of the things that bothers me most), the fact that Orlando Bloom either has too little or too much screen time (I'm inclined toward the latter), etc. I'll have to reread the chapters on Moria before I watch The Fellowship again.

Anonymous said...

actually in the story they talk about summoning the white witch at least the black dwarf and his friends do, and it might be part of that thing ya know, just refreshing our memories or showing what the peeps are talking about

dominique

miss fishy said...

I just listened to the story the other day here's what happened...after waiting for the four children to come back, one of Caspian's advisers got impatient and brought in a hag who was trying to bring back the white witch...thankfully the four children burst in right at that moment.

Anonymous said...

Dominique,
In Prince Caspian, Caspian calls Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy to Narnia with Susan's own horn. He did know that they would be the ones to answer his call because his old tutor told him so. He also tells the dwarf to go to Cair Paravel and wait for Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy to arrive and bring them to him. I do think it is wierd that Caspian meets them at Cair Paravel instead of the dwarf but we will have to see how that works out in the movie.
God bless,
Claire

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks for your thoughts on the "Caspian" film, Regina. I did love the LOTR movies but there were a few changes that bothered me. I feel the same way you do about the Moria scene. Also, the build up of the Black Riders in "The Fellowship" was not as subtle as it was in the book. In the film, they come riding out of Mordor in the very beginning but in the book they are gradually unveiled, which was much better.