Movies: Prince Caspian

After reading the reviews of this movie when it first came out, I had no interest in seeing it in the theater. I was eventually going to rent it on DVD, but when I saw I could borrow it from the library, I decided it was better not to have to pay anything for it.

It’s not a bad movie, exactly, just very disappointing to someone looking for a cinematic version of the story C.S. Lewis told in Prince Caspian. I find it interesting, reading the comments of other viewers, that they seem split between people who think it’s a great movie and people who, like me, were very disappointed. The people who like it talk about the great action scenes and spectacular visual effects. The people who are disappointed talk about the almost complete rewrite of the story by the filmmakers.

I won’t bother to repeat that. You can read the comments if you’re interested. Since it’s been a long time since I read the book, I can’t remember exactly how things happened in the original story – I just know it’s not how it was in the movie. So now I need to put Prince Caspian on my list of books to read. I think it was one I liked as a child, so now I find it odd that I can’t remember it as well as some of the others.

As a child, I read purely to enjoy the story. At some point I realized that C.S. Lewis was using allegory to tell about something more important than talking animals and exciting adventures. But I think I was an adult before I started appreciating the books more for the underlying message than the surface story.

I remember reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in college (not for class, just leisure reading) and for the first time identifying with Eustace and wanting, like him, to be transformed. I read The Horse and His Boy and became aware of the message about humility. I was particularly struck, rereading The Silver Chair, by need to keep reminding ourselves of the instructions we have been given (in our case, the Bible), and to recognize and stand up for truth even when we’re told that all we believe is an illusion.

I don’t remember, now, what kind of message, if any, I got from Prince Caspian. But the ones that came through clearly in the movie – and I doubt the director added these, so they must be from the book – are about how to deal with situations where we have asked God for help and He doesn’t seem to be answering (certainly not sending the answer we wanted at the time we wanted), and learning that the way He provides for our needs this time may not be the same way as in the past.

Definitely time to reread the book.

One Response to Movies: Prince Caspian

  1. Margaret Packard says:

    I read the comments, although it’s been a very long time since I read the book and hard to remember what it was about. I found it interesting to see that people who loved the book hate the movie, while people who have never read the book love the movie. So I wonder why. Are people who love the book simply unable to appreciate a movie which would change their much-loved book significantly and they feel betrayed? Or do book lovers in general look for something different in movies even if they had not read that particular book?

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