The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

I went to see the Narnia film last night - whatever it's technically called, it's just "Narnia" to most people. It was such a faithful rendering of the original that it didn't feel like watching a film, though, but more like re-reading the book. There were no flashy special effects, little enough condensing, very few laugh-out-loud moments, and all in all, it felt like a classic film, the kind you've seen every year for years. Very odd, for a new production.

It has definite class, though. The kids playing the Pevensies were perfect, pretty nearly, although I don't recall Susan being quite so sarcastic. The setting was ideal, England slightly accentuated. Some of the details of costume and set were really, really good.

But there was one thing that made the viewing very strange, and will probably make viewing any fantasy film for the next several years very strange: I kept on seeing bits of Lord of the Rings. There were scenes which, but for slight variations of colour, could have been clips. The Pevensies and the Badgers, silhouetted on a ridge. The charge of the reinforcements down a slope, led by the iconic figure of light. Even the Stone Table managed to be reminiscent of Weathertop. Then there were small details; the "White Tree" on tabards, the tents of Aslan's army paralleling those of Rohan, the movement of some of the monsters (one exactly like Gollum) and so on.

I'm not sure if they were deliberate, accidental, or inevitable - given the closeness of Lewis and Tolkien, any of the above could be argued.

Posted by Drew Shiel at December 14, 2005 11:59 AM

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