Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Free the Narnian

Every year, I read through the seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia (mind you, in the original order, not the silly chronological reorder). So I was hesitant to run to the theatre to see the new, highly hyped movie. But I finally did (in late February).

While the child actors were terrific in their parts, Liam Neeson voiced Aslan with all the drama of uncooked spaghetti. Has the man ever read the book? (It takes about three hours on a Sunday afternoon.) But still that wasn't my biggest gripe.

In the battle scene, Edmund rides a chestnut named Philip. Now anyone who has ever read The Horse and His Boy (and presumably the creators of the film would have read them all through once) knows that talking horses (and the rest of the talking animals) are free Narnias--not to be confused with the "dumb" untalking beasts of the land. Yes, humans may ride them, with permission and only in time of danger. That would account for Edmund's battle ride, BUT (1) he would not have needed a bridle (the unicorn with him and Philip was bridle-less), and (2) he would NOT have continued to ride Philip while on a hunting trip after the white stag in one of the final scenes of the movie. No impending danger there, which made Edmond no more than a slaveholder.

What were those filmmakers thinking, anyway?