Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

I love fantasy movies and books, which I blame on Particle Man. However, despite his initial encouragement that I begin reading this genre. I have continued reading the books or seeing the movies with no prompting from him. One of the series that I became the most engrossed in while reading was the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. From the way these books are written, they were made to be transferred to the big screen. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was the first in the series to be made into a film, and while it was enjoyable, I wasn’t exactly thrilled by it. Then next movie that was made was Prince Caspian, which I was hoping would be better than its predecessor.
Prince Caspian tells the tale of the Pevensie children after they have been away from Narnia for a year. On their way back to school, they are magically transported back to the land they once ruled, however, things have changed quite a bit. Also at the same time Prince Caspian, a prince of the enemies of Narnia, has escaped from his evil uncle and summons help to aid the Narnians in their reclaiming of what they once were. Caspian pictures that he will summon the Kings and Queens that originally saved Narnia, which he does, however, since they have been living in a different world for the past year, which is significantly longer in Narnian time, they show up only a year older then when they first entered Narnia.
As I said, although I enjoyed the first film, I was hoping that this one would improve upon what was started. I wasn’t disappointed. Although there were some changes to the story from the version told in the book, the general feeling of the story was still there. Much like the first film, the special effects continued to be exemplary and gave the audience the fantastical nature that they were hoping for, which is always enjoyable.
While special effects are important, it alone cannot carry a movie. The actors must lift some weight. I don’t know why, but I feel that the actors grew into their roles as actors more than they were in the first film. They don’t seem older than they should for the roles that they play, but I get the feeling that they were more serious about it than previously. I have watched Prince Caspian several times and each time I feel the acting is better than the previous film.
I think the main difference that I find in the quality of the films is determined in watchability. I have watched Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe a couple of times, and it served as a pleasant distraction, but I have watched Prince Caspian much more, and it has always been enjoyable. I feel that the director had a better sense of what he was doing in this follow-up and was therefore able to give us a more enjoyable story. I’m the kind of person who can watch movies repeatedly, and I find a comfort in the fact that no matter how many times I watch Prince Caspian, that it continues to be just as enjoyable as the first time. I give the movie a 10.