Book to Movie

Weekend at the Movies II: Prince Caspian

Actually I saw this one last weekend, but shh. Who’s counting?

Title: Prince Caspian

Book by C.S. Lewis

Movie directed by Andrew Adamson; Starring Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Mosely, Anna Popplewell and Peter Dinklage

I’ll be the first one to admit–I have NEVER liked the book Prince Caspian. Don’t get me wrong, I loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I always secretly wanted to taste Turkish Delight. But Prince Caspian? I had a harder time getting immersed in the Pevensie’s return to Narnia–I think because the story focuses so much on the eldest children (Peter and Susan–who were huge yawns to young me). I enjoyed Voyage of the Dawn Treader much more than this one.

However. I loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie adaptation, and as it has been a loooong time since I have read Prince Caspian, I had to give it a watch.

Whoo-boy. What a wonderful, wonderful film!

The movie begins with a woman screaming. She is in labor, and gives birth to a son. The expectant father, Lord Miraz, receives the joyful news…and issues a death warrant for his nephew, Prince Caspian X of Telmarine. Caspian is warned by his loyal tutor and sneaks out of the castle, armed with his sword, a horse, and an important gift of a horn, which his tutor instructs not to use unless in the greatest most desperate need. In order to evade the assassins, Caspian races on horseback into the forest–where the dreaded Narnians once lived. When Caspian comes across a Talking Beast (a badger) and two Dwarves (one red, one black), he realizes that the Narnians are not extinct, that the superstitions involving the woods are true, and in his panic, he blows the horn.

Prince Caspian flees the Telmarines

The horn is actually Queen Susan’s horn…and by blowing it, he has summoned the former Kings and Queens (sons of Adam and daughters of Eve) back to Narnia.

Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are living in 1941 England. Only a single year has passed for them since they returned from Narnia–so when they are magically transported back, they are not quite sure what the ruins they stand in are. As fate would have it, the ruins are of Cair Paravel, their old castle home when they were the rulers of Narnia. While only a single year has passed for the Pevensies, 1300 have passed in Narnia. The children have been summoned back to help Caspian and Narnia fight back and flourish once more.

The imagining of Narnia and the Telmarines was beautiful. I loved the dreary, militaristic feel for the Telmarines, against the vibrant (but sadly few) Narnians. While the Telmarines built their war machines and forged their steel, the Narnians used what meager resources they had, and faith.

Now I’ve never been one for religious parables. While the Christian themes are even stronger in Caspian than they were in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the wonderful battle scenes, the pretty damn good CGI, and pretty solid acting all around make this just a wonderful movie. Regardless of theological preference (or non-preference), Caspian should be seen by all and appreciated for the fantasy movie it is.

From R-L: Lucy, Peter, Caspian, Susan, and Edmund

A quick note on the actors–I have to profess my love for the casting director. The actors for the Pevensie children are perfect. Peter is annoyingly superior and bossy, but with his heart in the right place (despite his hard head). Susan is wishy-washy, but shows some steel in this second movie. Edmund is BRILLIANT, as he was in the first film, and has a pretty convincing sword arm. He kicks ass in this movie, I cannot wait for Dawn Treader. And Lucy, dear Lucy. As a young girl reading The Chronicles of Narnia, Lucy was always my favorite of the children. The little actor that plays Lucy is perfection–she can actually act, and she isn’t some typical, dimpled cutesy Hollywood doll with golden hair and bright blue eyes.

And Prince Caspian himself…well, his accent is pretty bad (“Ay ahm PRINCE CYAZPIYAN!”), but his acting is otherwise very very believeable. And…he’s hot. I’m shallow, I know.

So there was no wonderful uber-villain worhty of the White Witch in this movie (King Miraz is quite good as a villain, but he ain’t got NOTHING on Tilda Swanson’s horrific White Witch)…but she does make an appearance. The political machinations of the Telmarines might not appeal to some younger audience members, but I enjoyed it highly!

So, if my rambling review hasn’t made it clear–this movie is a keeper. Even if you didn’t like the book (or have no knowledge of the book)–go out and watch this one. You won’t be disappointed.

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10 Comments

  • ciaralira
    May 25, 2008 at 8:53 am

    It was good, wasn’t it? But I wouldn’t take a little kid to it and I disagree with the PG rating. It was too violent for PG. But Disney did a wonderful job otherwise. πŸ™‚ And PC is hawt for sure. I heart Edmund too.

  • Kristie (J)
    May 25, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Now see – while my sister will probably pick Indian Jones, THIS one would be my pick – if it were my birthday and not hers.

  • Thea
    May 25, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Ciaralira hmm, yes there was quite a lot of violence. I’m not sure how the ratings are assigned, but I think it has something to do with actual blood shown onscreen, and despite there being a lot of violence, there was little blood shown so therefore the PG rating. I think. I have no idea.

    But this definitely feels more ‘grown up’ and not as whimsical as the first movie, so I agree that some children and parents might not feel comfortable with this one! IMO, I love that Disney does its best not to ‘water down’ the movie in terms of fighting or themes, and I quite liked it! πŸ™‚

    Kristie–why not do both?! πŸ™‚

  • Brie
    May 25, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for the review, Thea. Since I haven’t been to the movies in years I will have to wait for it to become On Demand before I can see it. But it sounds good.

  • Christine
    May 26, 2008 at 4:01 am

    Thanks for the review, Thea! I want to see this film this weekend (its on my list), but I have a feeling I’m not going to make it. πŸ™ My daughter and I read all the Narnia books a few years ago, so we look forward to these films for sure! (…. and after watching the preview, we agreed that Prince Caspian is rather dreamy…)

    My 9 yo. was frightened just from the few sequences of scenes in the preview, so we easily agreed she wouldn’t see it on the big screen. I’m surprised the movie is only PG, really.

  • Thea
    May 26, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Brie–oh no! I love going to the movies (especially by myself–because then I can watch films that my bf refuses to see with me, i.e. AVP Requiem, I Am Legend, anything horror related!); but if you can’t make it, On Demand is the best thing to happen to cable. I use that sucker all the time πŸ™‚

    Christine πŸ™‚ I hope you’re able to get to the theater to watch this one soon! I’m sure you and your eldest daughter will love it (and btw, the actor for Prince Caspian is 26–older than me! No fear of cradle robbing here πŸ˜› ).

    Although I do agree with maybe it not being the best movie for younger children–a lot of the concepts are pretty intense and perhaps better appreciated by an older audience πŸ™‚

  • Angiegirl
    May 27, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I have got to get to the theater to see this one! What edition is that illustration of Caspian fleeing from? It’s gorgeous.

  • Thea
    May 28, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Angie–yes, yes go see it already!

    And the illustration is actually a release from Disney–I believe it’s concept art for the film. Really, it’s very beautiful. There are more stills and lovely illustrations here:

    http://media.movies.ign.com/media/041/041217/imgs_1.html

    Check out this one of Aslan:

    http://movies.ign.com/dor/objects/41217/the-chronicles-of-narnia-prince-caspian/images/the-chronicles-of-narnia-prince-caspian-20070723113117107.html

    Gorgeous.

  • patrick
    June 3, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    the makers of Prince Caspian kept to the original story in some ways and strayed in others… i heard they were going to make it into a silly pure-action flick, but thankfully this was not the case

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