Monday, December 12, 2005

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: A Review

I have to say having seen the film... I am in agreement with the majority of reviews... and not with Jonathan Ross.

All the same, this film is not aimed at media critics... it is aimed at children and families, and in it's construction it knows who it has to appeal to.

One charge he levelled against the film, was that it was ambiguous who we - the audience, should be siding with. I cannot see how he came to that conclusion. Mr Ross clearly does not have a proper understanding of how evil works. It's true, the witch does seem fair and kindly at first... but her true nature is revealed when her agenda is endangered. This is always the way of evil, if it showed itself up for what it was... do you not think we'd find it that much more easy to overcome. Evil always veils itself in our desires... that si how it gets us. I'm not insinuating all desires are evil, I'm just saying that we have to pay attention to what is driving them or leading them.

I genuinely jumped out of my skin twice when Maugrim turned up, firstly at the Ice Palace and secondly at Aslan's Camp. Ray Winstone and Dawn French as the beavers were a revelation... and there were some excellent throw away jokes. Edmund draws a pair of spectacles on a stone lioness... when Aslan restores it to life it still has them... because you can see them in the coronation scene. I loved the "Woah horsie" "My name is Philip" gag.

The animation for Aslan and the centaurs was excellent, you don't doubt that is how a half horse half man would move... even in the battle scenes.

I felt the acting was on the whole very good, not brilliant... but very good. I think a little more foreshadowing of who Aslan was before we met him, would have helped the film. Liam Neeson handled the dignity of Aslan excellently, and the moment his sacrifice is made... is truly moving. I was disappointed that the producers dropped the line about knowing Aslan under a different name in our world, but I understand the secular reasons for doing it... and it doesn't detract from the allegory.

I'm fairly confident there will be at least one sequel... public interest in the films is high.... and even if you disclude that, the support the evangelical Church is giving by block booking tickets will encourage investment. Hopefully some of the creases will be ironed out.

For me the books have always been about snapshots from each story... rather than the narrative structure itself. It will be interesting to see how many of the books are covered.

I recommend going to see the film. discover the deeper magic of Aslan for yourself.

He is not a "safe" lion.. but he is GOOD.

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