The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Prince Caspian PosterI went into this film with really low expectations. Almost every person I have spoken to about it said it was a disappointment. But, being a big Narnia fan, I decided to brave Prince Caspian anyway. I’m not disappointed that I did. I’m not saying it is a great film, since it certainly has problems, but overall I found the second installment of the Narnia series to be an enjoyable experience.

Most of the time, that is. Other times, I thought that Andrew Adamson had been watching too much of The Lord of the Rings.

 

The Story

Prince Caspian is on the run from his uncle, who is trying to steal his throne. When Caspian falls in with the old Narnians, he thinks he is about to be killed, so he blows on Queen Susan’s magical horn, summoning the four Penvensie children back to Narnia. Under the leadership of the kings and queens of old, the Narnians unite to win back their freedom from the cruel reign of the Telmarines.

The Good

As usual the film has excellent themes of sacrificial love. Characters frequently put themselves in danger to save others and some even go to the point of sacrificing their lives for their friends. But the biggest theme in this movie is far deeper than that. Throughout the film, the heroes talk about proving themselves to Aslan and how they have to do all the work this time. Every time they try this though, things go wrong, men are killed, and battles are lost. Finally they realize that they cannot succeed alone, and that they need Aslan’s help for all of life. It’s a powerful metaphor, and one I am thankful they included.

I am also very pleased with how the film handled magic. In the book, ‘white magic*’ is used several times and is not portrayed as being evil. In the film, however, none of the heroes use magic and the one time magic does appear it is portrayed as obviously evil.

 

The Bad

Women in combat was the big one. Susan fights right up front with the guys, dispatching Telmarines with her bow in classic Legolas style. There are also several female centaurs who can be seen charging into battle. Other negative elements include a bit of immodesty and a completely unnecessary kiss between Caspian and Susan.

Also, while this film is darker and more violent than the other two, it contains less scary creatures than either of the others. the violence is mostly bloodless, but the battles are large and intense, though not on the scale of The Lord of the Rings.

 

Conclusion

While this film is not as inspiring as the others in the series, I still found it to be an enjoyable addition to the Chronicles of Narnia. I can’t wait to see where they take us in the future.

 

Footnotes:

* By using the term ‘white magic’ I’m not trying to imply that there are different types of magic. All magic is evil, whether it is called white or black. The term ‘white magic’ in the context of this review is only used to imply that the magic is being wielded by a character usually portrayed as good.

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