by Jonathan Kohlmeier
The current Chronicles of Narnia movie series began with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in 2005. As of May 16, 2008, Prince Caspian, the second movie, is gracing a big screen near you! As the first words in the trailer state, the time has come to journey back to Narnia. Even with prices at the theaters being extremely high, this is a must see movie of the summer.
The movie begins in Narnia with the birth of an heir to the usurper, “King” Miraz, who killed his brother Caspian IX taking the throne for himself. With the birth of Miraz's son, his nephew Caspian (the true heir to the throne) must be eliminated, so that his son will be able to succeed him as King. Prince Caspian's tutor discovers this plot and helps him to flee before he is executed. Caspian runs to the woods where he stumbles upon true Narnians which scare him into the blowing of Queen Susan's horn. Susan's horn summons Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy back into Narnia. Through many trials Prince Caspian defeats Miraz with the help of Kings and Queens of Narnia, and the Narnians themselves.
For those of you who love the book and are leary of seeing the film, for the most part it follows the book very closely. There is one main place where the movie deviates from the book. Prince Caspian blows the horn when he first meets the Old Narnians because he believes they are there to hurt Him. Therefore the timing of the four Kings and Queens is much earlier than it is in the book. They did very well with this change from the book and kept the plot flowing smoothly. No, they did not follow the book as C. S Lewis wrote it exactly, but Prince Caspian is still a great movie for Narnia lover's to see.
One of the main themes throughout the movie is time. One year has passed for Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, but hundreds of years have passed in Narnia. One of Peter's first lines question how long it would be before Aslan brought them back to Narnia. We continually question the timing of God in our daily lives. We question when or even if he will answer our prayers. All Christians since apostolic times have questioned when Christ will return. We get bored when He seems to come to us for too long in Pastors’ sermons. Or we even try to make bargains with God in order to have something we want happen faster. In the end God always works in His own time, just as Aslan works in His.
Over the course of time the four children have grown quite a bit. They have grown older and have a greater understanding of things. One of my favorite parts from the book is when Lucy tells Aslan that he is bigger;Aslan responds that He just seems bigger because she is older. In the movie this is still there, but Aslan responds that for every year Lucy grows he grows as well.
In their first adventure to Narnia everything was pretty clear cut as to what was right and what was wrong. Even Edmund in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, knew deep down that his helping the white witch was wrong. Now things are not as clearly cut. Aslan is rather quiet for the majority of the film. He lets the children decide things on their own. In the movie this gets Peter into trouble and many Narnians die. When we are children things seem much easier than they do as we grow up. Things are clear cut as to what is right and what is wrong. As we are growing up the lines between right and wrong become harder to distinguish.
Of course, even when we seem to have a sense of right and wrong, our Old Adams desire the wrong . Like Edmund, we may know the harsh truth that we are siding with evil, yet continue to give in to that sin. And like Peter with his trouble, left to ourselves, our choices lead to death. We cannot choose the good, the holy, the things that lead to life. It is only through the saving work of Jesus and the Spirit He sends that rescues us and draws us to Himself. His work alone makes us co-heirs with the King of kings.
When we are children we are blessed with the necessary, saving faith in the waters of Baptism. As we grow up, our knowledge and understanding of God increase. We understand some things more as we study them. Relying on our own study and increased knowledge can be deadly for our faith, as trust in our own intellect or “believing in our belief” will create new idols. Yet the Holy Spirit is working on us. The faith given to us at any age is continually being strengthened through Word and Sacrament.
The Chronicles of Narnia Series is great. If you haven't read them all I highly recommend you do, even before seeing the movies. If you have read them, go see Prince Caspian. The film is very well done in everything from music, to acting, to effects and everything in between. Christians will be able to find many theological parallels throughout the movie. This movie should definitely be on your list to see this summer.
Jonathan Kohlmeier has just completed his Freshman year at Concordia University – Wisconsin. He works with Higher Things Internet Services serving as Front Page Content Manager. Jon is a huge fan of C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia Series and tries to read through them at least once a year.
Created: May 16th, 2008