zeborah: Zebra against a barcode background, walking on the word READ (books)
[personal profile] zeborah
I saw the eclipse for about a second between coming out of the movie and the clouds covering it. It looked more or less like a crescent moon. Ah well, maybe next time.

Dawn Treader was a bit of a curate's egg. If you think movies should follow the plot of the book then you'll hate it. If you think movies should follow the plot of the book to the extent practical for a completely different medium then you'll be highly frustrated with it. If you think movies should make up what-the-hell-ever plot they feel like to structure what was already a perfectly good story in its own right, just as long as they keep a few of the major set pieces, then you'll be cool with it.

And if you think Georgie Henley would look adorable wearing Narnian trousers, run don't walk, because she really really does.

The Real Life vignette at the start is cute: Edmund's attempt to enlist is brilliant. Doomed to failure, but brilliant.

Eustace is an utter git. (This is obviously not a change, though it manifests in slightly different ways in the movie.)

If you look at the screen in horror and think, "OMG, does Lucy have a crush on Caspian?!" fear not; really it's just envy of Susan's beauty.

The movie folk apparently think that either a) the audience won't consider "We want to find out where these seven lords disappeared to and in the meantime explore strange new islands!" sufficient motivation for a quest, or that b) they've got too much money so need to spend some on Tilda Swinton, or that c) there needs to be more continuity of Big Bad between films. This last one makes most sense. I don't entirely agree, but it makes sense. Anyway, so apparently there's this green mist that's making people disappear, and the Evil Slavers sacrifice people in boats to it, and the husband and daughter of one sacrifice come along on the Dawn Treader to find their wife/mother. They don't really do anything (except the girl gets to participate in a scene that shows that Lucy has learnt a valuable life lesson), they just come along. Anyway so Caspian has to gather the seven swords of the seven lords and put them on Aslan's Table on Ramandu's Island in order to prevent the Green Mist of Continuity from taking over the world.

The book does have a lot of events to get through very quickly so I could understand a bit of rushing in some of them. The whole slave-trading thing, for example. I think the movie covered the main bits before it created the whole random "sacrifice to the Green Mist of Continuity" plotline but to be honest I never cared too much about the Lone Islands anyway.

I think the sea monster used to come earlier in the book than it ended up (and in the book it was real, not a figment of the Green Mist of Continuity). Its head was super-creepy and not what you'd expect of a sea-serpent - I actually liked that.

The mermaids in the movie were friendly.

With the spellbook, Lucy makes it snow rather than eavesdropping. The green mist tempts her re the beauty, and Aslan gets hyper-preachy. The magician is hyper-patronising. Instead of invisibilising the Dufflepuds because they asked him to, it's to protect them from the Green Mist of Continuity.

Deathwater and Dragon Island are the same island. (In real life, it's White Island, a volcanic island in New Zealand. My family's been there - during these scenes I was whispering with my mother: Is it? Isn't it? Then we got to the gorgeous aerial shots which made it clear it was, and then those panned to-- Well, you'll know it when you see it. I cracked up laughing. It was pretty bad but it was over soon.)

The Eustace-as-dragon plotline was the part I was most worried about before watching, but it was mostly okay. For some bizarre reason Lucy never got to use her cordial (but she did get to fight in an earlier scene so that was cool). They changed how the "scratching the skin off" scene played out but that was always a dream/metaphor/thing anyway so it didn't matter to me. There was also a bit of teleportation going on around here, which was necessary due to the plot structure required by the Green Mist of Continuity. In terms of the movie it worked.

The major downside of the Green Mist of Continuity is that Edmund is never allowed to move on from being tempted by Tilda Swinton. That could be done well in theory but... In this one he didn't even get to really triumph over the temptation either.

Ramandu's Island was okay for me though again this is a part I've never really cared too much about.

We got the sweet water (though I wish the lullaby had had a nicer tune) and the waterlilies and Aslan's country as per normal. Caspian is less whiny than in the book. My sister felt the analogy was all a bit more explicit; I think she might have overly generous memories of the book but it was certainly clunkier than in the book. Great actors might be able to pull off those terrible lines, but not these kids.

Back in the Real World, apparently Jill Pole is friends with Eustace or something.

Anyway, on balance, despite the moments I wanted to kill it with fire, some of which were rather long moments, I think I more or less liked it. Definitely more than I liked the movie of Prince Caspian.

The Problem of Susan
Susan's problem is not lipstick and nylons.

Susan's problem is that she can't balance two worlds in her mind at once.

When she's in our world, she finds it hard to believe in Narnia. And when she's in Narnia she finds it hard to believe in our world (see eg the end of Lion/Witch/Wardrobe). She's an intensely practical, here-and-now girl/woman. And for a Queen of Narnia, this is a weakness which she hasn't yet learned to overcome.

I don't believe that means she'll never overcome it. I think when she does overcome it, then she'll be able to believe in Aslan's new world of The Last Battle and, ultimately, be reunited there with her family.

In the meantime certainly life is going to suck for her. Life sucks for a lot of people in the real world, and sucks for a lot of people in Narnia too. I don't have any answers for why Aslan lets life suck for people. All I know is that Susan isn't being singled out here. And she's definitely not being singled out because of lipstick and nylons.
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