Tuesday, September 25 , 2018, 10:23 am | Overcast with Haze 62º

 
 
 
 

Cinema in Focus: ‘Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian’

The second film in the series isn't as insightful, but there's an important moral behind the fairy tale.

3 Stars – Wholesome

The Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian, the second installment of

C.S. Lewis’ series, is engaging cinema. Although the story is not as allegorical or insightful as the first film, the special effects and cinematic techniques are improving. Adapting and directing these first two films, Andrew Adamson

(who also directed Shrek) is on schedule in 2010 to make the third film, Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Playing with time and belief, Lewis’ four Pevensie children, introduced in the first film, return to Narnia after a year on Earth, but 1,300 years in Narnia have passed. The victories of the first film, in which the White Witch’s demonic power is broken and all of Narnia is freed, have all been lost. This time, it’s not black magic that has defeated the Narnians, but rather the greedy schemes of the Telmarines. With hundreds of years of increasingly barbaric rule, a wise and courageous Professor Cornelius (

Vincent Grass), who was born of a Narnian mother, risks his life to become the teacher of Caspian the 10th (Ben Barnes). Told as fairy tales to the young heir to the Telmarine throne, the Professor teaches the Prince all about the land of Narnia, with its talking animals and divine king, Aslan (voice of Liam Neeson

).

When Caspian’s aunt gives birth to a son who could become king if Caspian were killed, the Professor saves Caspian’s life. As the Prince is fleeing the castle, the Professor gives him a horn to blow should he need the help of the Kings and Queens of old. Falling into danger, Caspian does so, and the four “sons and daughters of Adam” are magically brought back to Narnia after centuries of being away. 

Although time is different in Narnia, the spiritual lessons are the same. As in the first film when the youngest, Lucy (

Georgie Henley

), is the first to experience Narnia but is not believed by her siblings, in this second experience, she sees Aslan as he attempts to guide her, but the others don’t. Their inability to see Aslan and the questioning of Lucy’s vision is similar to those who don’t experience God and disbelieving those who do. Spiritual experience is often personal.

Although there is a moment when Caspian is almost seduced by the black arts in an attempt to gain power over the larger Telmarine army, it’s Edmund (

Skandar Keynes

) who breaks the spell. He is able to do so because he was once under the White Witch’s power. This is true of most destructive experiences, for those who were once under the addiction’s control are best able to help others become free.

For those who have not read the children’s stories by Lewis, we won’t spoil the tale, but we can expect that it is courage and faith that bring victory over the evil ones. That is a lesson that children of all ages need to learn.

Discussion:

  • The fantasy that any of us might suddenly find ourselves in an alternate universe in which we are destined to be a king or queen is a common archetypal desire. Is this true for you? What form does it take within your imagination?
  •  

  • When greedy and barbaric people seek power, they often destroy innocent people. Have you ever met a person who would harm you if it would cause them gain? How did you “fight” them?
  •  

  • The realization that the Narnians could never defeat the Telmarines without Aslan’s help was a hard lesson that cost Peter (William Moseley) dearly. Do you believe that using weapons of war to try to produce peace will work? Do you believe that we can bring peace on Earth without God’s help? Why or why not?
  • Cinema In Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of the Free Methodist Church. For more reviews, visit www.cinemainfocus.com.

     

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