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Aslan on the Move Again
Quicker paced than the first Narnia movie, Prince Caspian delivers some special effects thrills that rival Lord of the Rings.

In the film Shadowlands—the 1993 Anthony Hopkins movie about the life of C.S. Lewis—Lewis says, "We live in the shadowlands; the sun is always shining somewhere else." In real life Lewis wrote Narnia novels both as a way for readers to escape and as an allegory to the Bible.

Although Lewis never liked to describe The Chronicles of Narnia as biblical allegory, but "only magic," the parallels are undeniable. Asian represents Christ; the White Witch is Satan tempting Edmund, who is Judas, and so on and so on.

Prince Caspian, the second instalment in The Chronicles of Narnia film series, came to theatres this month. The fantasy promises to be another big hit for both children and adults who escape into Narnia with the Pevensie siblings.

Prince Caspian takes place one year after the events of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, when the Kings and Queens of Narnia (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) find themselves back in Narnia. There, 1,300 years have passed since their defeat of the White Witch.

During their absence, however, the Golden Age of Narnia has disappeared, and Narnia is now ruled by the evil King Miraz, leader of the Telmarines. The four children meet a new character in the handsome Prince Caspian. He is in hiding from his uncle King Miraz, who wants to kill Caspian to make room on the throne for Miraz's newborn son.

If, like me, you found Lewis's original novel a bit slow moving, the movie will deliver some special effects thrills that rival Lord of the Rings. The screen writers changed the structure of the story as well, allowing them to contrast the four children with Prince Caspian.

The battle scenes are action-packed. Even though most viewers will have read the book and know the outcome, you will feel some distress as Peter battles King Miraz and as brave little Reepicheep, one of Lewis's own favourite characters, struggles to live. The woods come alive, the dwarfs battle valiantly, monsters appear from under water, and Aslan himself delivers his people, making this as Old Testament allegorical as you will ever get.

Three years ago I wrote in The Banner that I thought the pacing in the first Narnia film was a bit slow. However, in the extended preview of Prince Caspian, director Andrew Adamson has created a film that is darker, livelier, and much swifter in its storytelling.

Ron DeBoer is vice principal at Eastwood Collegiate Institute in Kitchener, Ontario, media editor for The Banner, and author of the forthcoming Questions from the Pickle Jar: Teens and Sex (Faith Alive).

Originally published in The Banner, April, 2007.

 

 
 
 
 

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