I finally caught “Prince Caspian” the other night. I was surprised at how much fun I had watching it.
– I liked the opening of the film and the progression of the opening titles over scenes of Caspian’s escape from the castle.
– I liked the Reepicheep-point-of-view invasion of Miraz’ castle.
– I enjoyed the high film-speed effect on some of the battle scenes, and how raw and energetic the combat between Miraz and Peter was.
– I was very surprised by how interesting Miraz was. I loved the scene where he was pressed by Edmund, and by his own council, into one-on-one combat with Peter. I loved that Miraz (most of the time) wasn’t overplayed or underplayed – he seemed to have just the right amount of animation to seem corrupt and ambitious without becoming a simple caricature (certain sneering, Lord of the Rings villains come to mind).
The 4 Pevensie children intersect with Caspian much earlier in the film than they do in the book, which brings about some interesting conflicts within characters. There is the romantic attraction btw. Susan and Caspian. And the absence of Aslan has a different effect on the characters as they discuss their choices. There is a pronounced rivalry between Peter and Prince Caspian that, strangely, never seemed to sway the loyalties of the Narnians as I would expect it to. In the book, Lewis does away with any conflict between Peter and Caspian with a single line from Peter: “I haven’t come to take your place, you know, but to put you into it.” (p.184)
Here are a few things I like from the book that weren’t in the film (and probably couldn’t have been rendered as effectively on the screen – at least the way Adamson is rendering the story):
– Long conversations between Professor Cornelius and Caspian late at night in the tallest castle tower (which inspired the book cover shown above by Chris Van Allsburg)
– Giant Wimbleweather (esp. pg.93 and following)
– Playful scenes, like Aslan knocking Trumpkin around and the bear sucking on his paws to the embarrassment of the Narnian army (p.185) The moments of light-heartedness in the book are mostly absent in this movie.
– Edits from the dialog between Lucy and Aslan
– The scene where the Pevensies and Trumpkin follow Lucy – who is following Aslan (and who is the only one who can see Aslan) – down a treacherous trail in the dark.