mirrorshard: (Default)
[personal profile] mirrorshard

I liked the staging, costuming, the whole atmosphere. It was clearly Narnia, and the same Narnia I loved from the books.

But I couldn't ignore the distinctly dodgy moral and social messages, and to my eyes, those were even more strongly pronounced in the film. The children, overwhelmingly, didn't actually do anything - all they were there for was to look pretty and watch Aslan save the world. They came, they had tea, they ran away, they suffered some mild peril from which they were saved by Divine Providence (how else do you explain that scene in the river? Without it, they're dead, frozen solid and drowned at once. Dead), they were hailed as Kings and Queens by the Narnians, and then Aslan rubs it in their faces that they're still children and he'll do all the work.

Peter fights (and sadly doesn't get killed - I didn't think I'd hate the irritating prig quite this much, but I'm amazed at Edmund's restraint at not nutting him after the battle, where his touching emotional line, expressing his fondness and gratitude, is "Why can't you do as you're told!"), but there's no blood and no actual bodily contact. All he seems to know what to do with his sword is either to hold it out at arms' length with his elbows locked, or to draw it out and wave it around at moments of high emotional tension where there could be no possible use for it.

So overall, a combination of two of the themes that annoy me most - "only heroes matter" (did you note that Father Christmas completely ignored the beavers? I'm sure he didn't do that in the book) and "if you stick to your predestined places in the social order, everything will be alright". Lewis was at least a bit more subtle about it, and he let his heroes do something - Aslan still treats them like children, but then he does that to everyone. That's Mithrai^WMuscular Christianity for you, though.
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