Sunday, December 11, 2005

Movie Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Chronicles of Narnia is an absolutely brilliant adaptation of C S Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It fulfilled every expectation I had. The story is well-known. Four children, Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Lucy (Georgie Henley), are evacuated from World War II London as German bombs fall on the city. In the country house they find themselves in they play various games to fight the boredom that comes with the wet weather. One of those games is hide-and-seek. Lucy hides in a wardrobe in an otherwise empty room and, to her surprise, discovers it is the entrance to another world -- Narnia. Narnia is in the grip of a winter that has lasted more than a hundred years due to the evil rule of the White Witch (Tilda Swinton). The four children are drawn into the battle to overcome the White Witch's rule with the assistance of a powerful lion, Aslan. Everything about The Chronicle of Narnia is as it should be. The casting is excellent. Tilda Swinton is magnificent as the White Witch, never overplaying the part and portraying the simmering evil underneath a benign exterior. The children are brilliant. The cinematography is superb and the special effects are completely seamless and never overpower the narrative itself. Nothing is simplistic in this movie and yet the story is a simple one. Mark Adamson, who has previously brought us Shrek and Shrek 2 has directed The Chronicles with intelligence, wit, and power. C S Lewis's fantasy is a genuine masterpiece and has been translated to the silver screen in a way which respects and faithfully portrays his original work. The Chronicles of Narnia is unashamedly Christian and is a rich allegory of the death and resurrection of Christ and what it means for a world shot through with evil. But even those who do not know the underlying meaning of the allegory will appreciate one of the best fantasies ever written along with the subtle principles of loyalty, sacrifice, grace, justice, and redemption. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a deeply moving experience that must not be missed. It leaves certain other popular movies featuring a magical hero in the shade. My Rating: ***** (out of 5) Positive Review 'A movie of intelligence and power, of beauty, universality and largeness of spirit.' - Mick LaSalle/San Francisco Chronicle Negative Review 'The movie is a leaden, slow-moving beast.' - Peter Debruge/Premiere Content Warning Battle sequences and frightening moments Related Links

1 comment:

  1. I agree, the movies (LWW & PC) were both great, and I`m looking forward to Voyage of the Dawn Treader.