This is my Voyage of the Dawn Treader review, as posted on Aslan's Country. See the original post here.
Susanofgp’s report/review after seeing the movie for the first time at a midnight premiere Friday morning!
Warning: Spoiler alert!!!!!!!
When I saw Prince Caspian, I was determined to like it, because it was Narnia, and all of the same actors were going to be in it. I knew they were making big changes to the story, but I wanted to like it anyway. It was a good movie, and it was Narnia, but they strayed far from the book, so I didn’t immensely love it.
With The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I didn’t have to make myself like it. I really loved it, and I’m proud of it.
One reason may be because I had prepared myself and watched all of the trailers and clips and read different reports of how the story was going to be changed. Those who have gone spoiler-free and expect it to be exactly like the book (p.s. that never happens.) will be disappointed. But I had researched and understood the plot changes and why they had made them, so the movie was exactly as I expected! If you admit they’re going to change some things for the good of the movie, to move it along or whatever, then you’ll be fine with it.
I got to see the film with friends at 12:30 Friday morning (December 10) at a theatre near us.
The characters that stuck out to me the most after seeing it for the first time were Edmund: He’s a very strong, main character and has really grown up. Lucy: She’s a lady: strong, beautiful, hopeful, and encouraging to Gael and the boys, or I should say, men. Caspian: He is now definitely a king and a leader. Eustace: funny, horrible to the other characters, exactly how C.S. Lewis described him. Reepicheep: He definitely is more caring and gentle, and I must say, cute, than in the last film, but he still holds on to his fierce fighting skills and disposition. He becomes a true friend of Eustace’s by the end, and it really touches Eustace.
It was in “digital 3-D” which was cool only because it made the movie look more “real.” The 3-D made it clear that one character was behind another, but you can tell that from 2-D also. I’m not sold on 3-D yet. I don’t think it made that much of a difference, especially since not much “popped out” at you.
I couple things that would be confusing for a fan of the book:
They added this element of “the green mist,” which just gives form to an evil force that’s lurking everywhere and is always is aiming to tempt the characters to sin. We see it when Lucy is tempted to read the beauty spell, in the water at Deathwater Island, where Edmund and Caspian are enchanted, and around Eustace as he tries to place the last sword on Aslan’s table.
Speaking of the magic swords, they are gifts from Aslan to Narnia. To defeat “the green mist,” all seven of them must be laid at Aslan’s Table on Ramandu’s Island. The swords help you keep track of which Lords have been found already (each Lord has one of the swords) and puts a more fatal weight on their quest to find the lost Lords. When the swords are all together on the table, the green mist, the sea serpent, and the witch all disappear, and all is right again.
The witch and the sea serpent are things Edmund dreams up while they’re in Dark Island, the place where nightmares come true. The white witch does not come back to life, though she tries to convince Edmund that, “I will always be alive in your mind, silly boy.” It makes it look like Aslan’s victory over her wasn’t complete, and the witch could always return. But just remember who’s saying it. The witch herself. The essence of evil and lies.
In our world, Jesus conquered Satan when he paid for our sins and then rose from the dead, but that doesn’t stop Satan from trying to convince us that he is still in charge. At the end of time, Satan will be thrown into Hell, and Jesus will be acknowledged as the true ruler by all. For now, though, we are tempted to do evil every day. This displeases Jesus, but he never stops loving us if we one of his children. This is what “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” captures. C.S. Lewis said it represents “the spiritual life” of a Christian. I think the film encourages you to stay strong and never give in to temptation.
My opinion on the witch is that she should have been like Tumnus, a character only in LWW. I wouldn’t mind seeing her in Magician’s Nephew, but please don’t put her in Silver Chair!
The adding of the older Pevensie siblings in a few scenes was a nice touch. Those who see the movie and aren't Narnia fans will recognize actors, and those of us who are Narnia fans will be glad to see our favorite actors coming back, even if just for cameos. Peter and Susan don't come back to Narnia in the book or the movie, so don't worry about that.
Another addition was Gael. While she is a good actress and gives younger girls a character they can relate to, she doesn’t really add anything to the story. Lucy has a chance to prove she has learned her lesson when she tells Gael to be herself and not be envious of others, but that’s it.
Some things they took out were: Ramandu and the song he and his daughter sing as the birds fly from the sun to eat up all of the extra food. In the book, Edmund calls this the truly most exciting moment of their journey. There are a few other parts that were altered a bit (Slave Market scene, the Magician’s Island). They combined some islands and shortened many of them to help the movie move along faster. It did seem very fast, partly because the story is episodic. The one island that is drawn out is Dark Island, which they combined with the sea serpent battle and made the climax of the movie.
But I thought they did VERY well. I absolutely adored the movie overall. Some things I LOVED:
A picture on Susan’s desk of the four kids wearing their school clothes from “Prince Caspian.”
The last scene, complete with the line, “In your world I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. That is the very reason you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.” I thought that everyone’s acting was fabulous in that scene.
The lighting: the color didn’t seem as beautiful as the clips online, but the lighting was cool because they made great use of the sun.
The cinematography: I love the shot from the dragon’s point of view, flying toward the ship.
The music: I didn’t notice it that much, which is the nature of movie music. But I did notice a few themes I had heard online, and they were great.
There were also many lines, that were very profound, and I loved. There were also many that made me laugh out loud! Some good lines: “You’re a boat in a magical land, can’t you row yourself?” -Eustace. “In England we have mousetraps for that sort of thing.” -Eustace. “Treasure.” -Edmund, “Trouble.” -Caspian. “I’ll bet this morning you didn’t even believe in dragons.”-Reepicheep. “Aunt Alberta will not be pleased.” -Edmund. “Without you, your brothers and sister would never have known about Narnia.” -Aslan. “I spent too long wanting what was taken from me, and not what was given. I was given a kingdom; people.” – King Caspian.
Lots of things were put in that help lead up to “The Silver Chair.” For example, the evil “mist” itself is green and is accompanied in Dark Island by a sea serpent, which ends up looking a lot like a giant serpent, and a witch…. Hmm…
The green mist also represents kidnapping, as villagers are “fed” to it and disappear.
When Eustace asks, Aslan tells him, “Narnia may have need of you again.”
In England there is a small reference to Jill Pole.
While there is no mention of Caspian and Liliandil’s marriage, they definitely kept it open with Caspian saying something like, “I hope we see each other again.” So it ends like the book does, except without the epilogue. They will probably mention Caspian’s marriage in “Silver Chair,” because if they don’t get married, how else can the series continue!?
This movie made me want to see another made, and I think Silver Chair is the obvious next movie. I dearly hope we will hear news of its being made soon.
I hope you can see how much I loved this movie. I loved it so much, I forgot about my soda! (which is something I never do.) While there were inconsistencies with the book, most of them were added for a logical reason and don’t detract much from the message of the story. The characters were all very strong, the lines were great, and the special effects (especially the dragon) were awesome. I cannot wait to see this movie again, and I’d encourage all of you to go see it and encourage your friends to go see it. For Narnia! And for Aslan!
Welcome to my Narnia Blog! Officially Founded 1-1-2011, it contains my thoughts, observations, and convictions on all things Narnia, my excitement about Narnia, and my admiration for the author, C.S. Lewis. Using images and videos, but mostly words, I’d like to share a bit of what I love about Narnia and hopefully persuade you to love it as much as I do, or encourage you if you’re already as crazy as I am. :) For Narnia! … and For Aslan! -Susanofgp
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now...Come further up, come further in!”
― Bree, The Last Battle
― Bree, The Last Battle
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