Thursday, May 22, 2008

where are you, Prince Caspian?

On May 16, opening night, I curled up in a theatre chair in a row of friends and prepared to take in Prince Caspian, the movie adaptation of a children's classic.

I am not one to insist that a movie exactly mirror a book. I studied screenwriting for a little while and even tried penning a couple of screenplays, so I realize that these two radically different art forms take an entirely different approach to storytelling. I wouldn't have complained if the movie had simply approached the story differently.

I am complaining, however, because the movie wrote a whole new story! True, it features the same characters and (sort of) follows the same events. But the heart of Prince Caspian, as C.S. Lewis wrote it, was gone. I realized this but couldn't quite put my finger on the problem. I knew it had to do with faith and the centrality of Aslan to the whole story, but beyond that, I was left trying to figure out why the story I loved had disappeared.

My friend (and author of TorahBytes) Alan Gilman hit the nail on the head in his blog post, "Prince Caspian the Movie Misses the Mark":

"One of the things that make C.S. Lewis' writings as poignant as they are is that they effectively communicate God's truth within a society that has lost its spiritual moorings. As intellectuals redefined reality for the modern world, pushing it away from a biblical understanding of God and life, Lewis calls us back to the old stories.

"The movie version of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe gave us hope that Lewis' legacy was being preserved for a new generation, that the biblical world view would at least be part of the contemporary discussion. The movie version of Prince Caspian, on the other hand, reminds us that Hollywood cannot be trusted with that legacy."

I encourage you to check out the entire post at

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Anonymous patrick said...

haven’t seen Prince Caspian yet but definitely looking forward to it… i’ll have to look over the book one more time just to remind myself how the original story goes

7:38 p.m.  
Blogger Ashley said...

I watched Prince Caspian and loved it for the movie. But the more I think about it, it does disappoint me that they deviated so much from the book. My younger sister keeps ranting about how they destroyed Peter. What?! He didn't want the kingdom back! He was there just to help and he knew it. I did notice Caspian wasn't totally the same either, but I was determined to like the movie for the movie and the book for the book. :) Maybe I shouldn't be...

I wrote in my Xanga about how I loved the movie and that I thought the spirit was pretty much the same as the book... but there still lingers in my mind a regret that so much depth that was in the book failed to make an appearance in the movie.

Maybe someday if I get good enough at making movies they'll let me do a different one. ;)

10:24 a.m.  
Blogger Brittany Simmons said...

That is disappointing to hear. I'd been looking forward to seeing the movie when it comes out on dvd, and my sister and her friend are going to see it tomorrow, and in general I was excited about it. But now the hear that they've tampered with the heart of it... that's disillusioning.

Random side note--I am slowly but surely trying to organize a chat. I've alread talked with Rachel Ro. and Charissa about a time. Hopefully I'll sned out a wayside e-mail about it soon.

8:06 p.m.  

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