Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
After the big success of the trilogy of the Ring and the Harry Potter series it was only expectable that someone would remember the Chronicles of Narnia. The book series written by C.S. Lewis is an old children’s book which had its own funs. It describes the adventures of a party of children who travel to another dimension and get to know a different world, Narnia. In this world there are no humans, only animals that speak, and others creatures as centaurs, nymphs and fawns. The god and creator of this world is a lion called Aslan. In this episode the children are forced to fight an evil witch who put Narnia under a spell of eternal winter without Christmas. This episode is not the first episode of the chronicle but it is the first written by Lewis and probably the best of the series.
The script is quite faithful to the book well adjusted to the needs of a movie. Special effects are used extensively in order to bring to life all the mythical creatures and the world of Lewis. However this is a film for children as is the book. When you have surpassed the first twelve or thirteen years of your life the Narnia Chronicles can not carry you away anymore. You can still appreciate the complex imagination and the beauty of the world of Narnia. In the same way the film is mostly referred to children. It lacks the innovation in the aesthetics, the mastery of directing that would help lift you with the spirit of the fairy tale. As a matter a fact the colors and the images derive directly from a bbc series of Narnia done for tv. The scene of the final battle especially is a copy of the tv episode. More over the influence of the images that decorate the book pages is quite obvious. A good example of the imitation of these images is the entrance to the Queen’s palace.
When a book is translated into film, spectators aspect the film to respect its origins and to be faithful to the spirit of the original writer. On the other hand in order for the film to be a separate work of art has to move beyond the book, has to make its own aesthetic suggestions and add new elements to the myth. Andrew Adamson has failed to do this in his movie. In a way this is as disappointing as changing the book completely. Therefore The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe even though pleasant to watch remains a mediocre film without great aspirations.