Friday, January 07, 2011

Movie Review: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

On my anniversary, my wife and I went to see the new Narnia movie. There isn't much of a review to make because the movie was great. However, they did something that bothered me a bit.

Overall, they kept the spirit of the story intact, but they changed some key facts of the plot. SPOILERS: in the book, the protagonists journey across the sea in search of seven lords who were banished from Narnia by Caspian's uncle. They find the first lord living in an estate on one of the Lonely Isles (the farthest east land charted up to that point in the world's history). Since the journey was to find all of the lords and see what lay beyond the edge of the map, when a slavery issue was settled on the isles, the characters move on. Various trials await them, and they overcome each one in a spectacular and engaging manner.

In the movie, the lord on the Lonely Isles did not own a manor, he was a slave, and the islands were tormented by an evil fog that consumed boat-fulls of sacrificial people. Apparently, the other lords attempted to stop this fog by taking some magic swords off into east to lay at Aslan's Table so that the fog would disappear. Many of the trials from the book show up, and the same lessons are learned by the characters in the same engaging manner.

My point here is that the "main" plot of the movie (the quest for the swords) is pretty much unnecessary because the tension in the book ebbs and flows just as consistently as the tension in the movie. What the screenwriters did, however, was turn this rather unique quest for knowledge and enlightenment into every single role-playing game on the market.

I did enjoy this film, and I do intend to purchase it when the blu-ray is released, but I really think the filmmakers did a disservice to this story by making such drastic changes to the underlying purpose of the Dawn Treader's journey east.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting! I was torn about seeing it, but your review is awesome. I think I'll see it now.