I am rarely stirred to write on this blog these days but I have been so tonight.
Some weeks (months) ago, we saw the first trailers for the new production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (hereon “Narnia”). My reaction was “ooh, that looks like it might actually be good”. So, with some anticipation good and bad, we rolled into our local cinema for an evening’s entertainment.
The film well exceeded my expectations. I will try to make this spoiler-free, I am too lazy to split my thoughts up into proper sections.
This film is quite easily the best screen adaptation of a novel I have ever seen. The Lord of the Rings was quite excellent, but due to its size it had to chop out large sections of the plot and skim over others. Due to the slim size of the the original novel, Narnia did not have to do that. In places, it even extended things to explain to the poor ignorant Americans what was going on in England at the time.
The casting was very good, and the imagery, landscape and characterisation of all the beasts and whatnot was breathtaking. I loved the use of British actors (almost) throughout.
There were some historical issues and some inconsistencies, but overall I loved it. It struck the balance of the horror against being written for children well.