Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Subversion of Narnia

I received the entire boxed set (paperback) of The Chronicles of Narnia as a child. I could never get past the first of the seven volumes, though. Read Wardrobe, but never continued, though I think I tried reading Price Caspian. I might read them all now that I'm older, if I have the time. This Christian site has the following article suggesting a departure from Lewis's Vision:

As everyone knows, two Hollywood productions of recent years bear the titles of two of C. S. Lewis’s famous stories from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. The third installment in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is scheduled for release this December, with The Silver Chair slated for 2011.

Many Christians are very excited about these developments, believing (quite rightly) that Lewis’s stories are shot through with deeply Christian imaginative themes. What can be wrong with disseminating the stories more widely in this way? The answer is: Absolutely nothing—so long as it really is Lewis’s stories being disseminated. But there’s the rub. A thoughtful investigation suggests that the Narnia films are very far from being a faithful representation of Lewis’s own Christian vision of reality.

This is a serious charge, so let me focus it a bit more. I shall not object to the quality of the movies simply as movies, nor to the interpolation of much non-Lewis material into both movies, nor even to the appropriateness of film, in principle, as a vehicle for telling such stories. Objections might be made (and have been made) on all three points, but I shall not make them here.

Instead, I have a larger and more basic question in mind. Do these film versions “do” what Lewis’s books themselves “do”? Do those who see the films come away nourished in the same way that readers of the stories do? Do the films give us, or do they try to give us, something recognizably like Lewis’s comprehensively Christian vision of the world?-Narnia Invaded: How the New Films Subvert Lewis’s Hierarchical World

Well, I've only seen the first film so far, which I thought was okay. I wasn't looking at it from a Christian perspective, however.

1 comment:

  1. I loved them as a kid, but as I've been reading them to my son the rather blunt Christian overtones are starting to annoy me. Reepicheep is still as awesome as I remember though.


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