Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Chronicles of Narnia - the movie

I had been anxiously awaiting The Chronicles of Narnia to hit the big screen since last summer. The C.S. Lewis series is an old favorite of mine and one we have read to our children. Over Christmas break, I made sure we had an opportunity to see this long awaited movie.

And yet it has taken me over two weeks to write my personal little review. I am usually so anxious to share my opinion with the world, and so I couldn't understand why I wasn't ready to turn on the computer the minute I got home. Then I realized why - the movie did not meet my expectations. I was disappointed.

Now I need to say that my children were not disappointed at all. They loved it - as have most the people I know who have seen it. So why did I find myself looking at my watch several times throughout the movie and then not even staying for the credits (a sacrilege in my book)? The movie did a number of things well. It stayed close to the story. The cinematography was incredible, and the final showdown between good and evil was quite well done. The actors were believable and engaging. So what was my problem?

It all just felt so flat to me. Despite the big budget extravagances, the movie seemed one-dimensional. There was no trepidation as to what might happen next. (Even in a Harry Potter movie - when I know exactly what will happen - I find myself on the edge of my seat.) The storyline seemed ho-hum, - oh yeah, now's the time the brother is going to be really stupid and go to the witch; yeah, the lion is sacrificing himself; yada, yada, yada. I was not invested in the characters (despite the quality acting job). There was no mystery, little magic, inspite of the incredible special effects and various creatures. I have asked myself why several times in the past couple weeks. Was it the storyline itself? Was it the original book or the screenplay? Is this a book that is better left on the written page?

I'm not sure about the answer, but I am sure about my disappointment. I know this movie will win some awards - and deservedly so in some cases. Yet, it left me wanting more. I think I'll have Hubby take the kids to the sequel. My grade - B-

1 comment:

restless said...

Didn't seem this one. But i recently rented "Talk to her" - if you can get it, you should. You'd like it, despite the subtitles. I think i am going to see Brokeback Mountain at the Fine Arts Theatre this week. Yee Ha, finally i am out for a movie and at a very cool venue to boot.