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Missing the Point of Narnia

Scott on May 14, 2008 at 10:52 am

The MSNBC movie critic Alonso Duralde is having a mixed reaction to the new Narnia movie Prince Caspian. Duralde says:

But if you can plod through the without-faith-you-are-nothing stuff, to say nothing of the crush-the-swarthy-infidels message (more on that later), “Prince Caspian” is a rousingly entertaining adventure that children and adults will enjoy in equal measure.

The bulk of the review makes it clear that Duralde believes “Prince Caspian” to be a rousing good adventure if one can get past those pesky faith messages that are embedded in the book that have been imported into the movie. FUNNY. That would be like saying the movie “The 10 Commandments” is good but would be better if they got rid of the pillar of fire and smoke and the burning bush and all the God stuff!

When discussing the role of Aslan in the movie he says, “The Aslan business muddies the water…” Once again…FUNNY! How can one of the central characters in the plot “muddy the water?” Not only is Aslan the power behind Narnia, he is the creator of Narnia. How could you tell the story WITHOUT him?

Towards the end of the review, Duralde makes an oddly snarky comment about the bad guys (the Telmarines) being “decidedly Mediterranean in appearance and inflection because the Brits, after all, do love to demonize the Spanish whenever they can.” I get the impression that if the story had been written and if the film had been made using all white looking people, this guy would have complained about the monochromatic casting and the lack of diversity. I guess he missed the point that the Telmarines were supposed to be from a completely different country in a different part of the world, a much warmer part of the world. Oh well, those pesky details can really get in the way some times.

The review ends by saying:

You’ll have a great time at “Prince Caspian.” Just be prepared to ignore some of its not-so-subtle implications if your interest in author C.S. Lewis stems from his writing and not from his spirituality.

I am glad that he thinks people will have a great time at the movie; but at the same time I would HOPE that people ARE influenced by C.S. Lewis’ “not-so-subtle implications,” since that was a lot of the motivation behind Lewis’ writings in the first place.

I wonder if Alonso Duralde has ever read any of the Narnia stories?

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