Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Review, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

This is good review/bad review day. I wish it didn't have to be. I wish like anything it could be good/good.

I love books. I have a favorite book. It's been my favorite book since high school. If anyone asks, the response is always The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C. S. Lewis. Always. I've read the entire Chronicles 30+ times, including this book. They all make me cry, but Dawn Treader is the one I relate to, the one which is my life book, so to speak.

Eustace - I connect with him at a soul level. I'm not always sure why, since I don't typically identify with surly and miserable. I think, though, the me which hides from everyone is a Eustace. The me which I don't want anyone to ever identify with Flea. Ever. And I rejoice at his transformation, wincing, cringing, crying at the difficulty it is for him. Weeping when he tries so hard to tear off his dragon skin - when Aslan asks him to, no less - and is unsuccessful. Nearly unable to see the page through my tears when Aslan uses his lion claws to rip deep into the dragon flesh and remove it, uncovering the boy within, the changed boy.

Change is difficult. Changing the core of who we are is nearly impossible. We can, with help, look at the deep ugliness within. But deep, lasting change is painful and takes so much more than most of us have. I see that played out with Eustace.

Which is all why I went to see the movie, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, with great trepidation. I was disappointed.

My Hunny and the kids thought it was poorly done in comparison to the first two, and I have to agree. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was close to the book, but maudlin, and Prince Caspian, while nothing like the book, was engaging, entertaining. This third one was closer to the book than the second, but not well acted, by anyone except Eustace (it's saving grace, in my opinion). The odd thing about this one, from the perspective of someone who loves the book so, is that it follows the book's points fairly carefully, but introduces themes which weren't there.

I didn't like it. It disturbed me. I couldn't enjoy this movie. They even ruined my lovely little Dufflepuds. And the magician/star being punished. And the other star's daughter. So many elements missing.

My family, who don't know the book intimately, enjoyed the movie for it's own sake, but didn't think it well done. So if you've seen the first two and aren't enamoured of the books, I'd recommend waiting till it's out on DVD, but definitely see it. If, like myself, you know the books inside and out, still wait till it's released on DVD, and maybe see it. Maybe it won't break your heart like it did mine.

That's it. No spoilers. I can't stand to write anymore. I might cry.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Until I write again ...



Laura~peach~ said...

i so agree with you ... and I have NOT seen it... It breaks my heart tohave an awesome book made into a not so great movie... its like I was telling michael last week... IF they had taken the time and money to put into it (a different movie) then it would have been a massivly great show but as it is it is just sad and not even close to the book.

Robin said...

Well drat, as a huge Narnia fan since childhood I was hoping to see this with my son on Saturday. Oh well, at least now I'll go into it with suitably reduced expectations.

Was the 3D bit at least cool?

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