Movie Reviews, Commentary & More

The Chronicles of Narnia - Movie Review

I'm not a fan of fairy tales, because they can neither educate nor challenge an adult viewer. So, entertainment is the only inviting parameter for an adult to consider buying tickets. These days, lots of magic is crafted on the screen with technical advancements and the story telling techniques have been constantly redefined, that they provide enough entertainment for an adult to walk out of the theatre without complaining about the story. Even if the the narration and visual effects fail to captivate the audience, a solid story can hold the attention of the viewer. 'The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' written by C.S.Lewis and directed by Andrew Adamson for screen, falls just short of the entertainment threshold in the areas mentioned above.

During World War II, four kids belonging to a family in London are sent to a lesser known place to spend a few days with a Professor Kirkie. To kill boredom, the kids play hide and seek which offers an opportunity for Lucy, the youngest of them all to explore a wardrobe which transports her to the magical world of Narnia. Later, she comes back and takes her brothers and sister to Narnia, where they discover that the arrival of all the four siblings is a part of a prophesy which hints at the end of the rule of the evil witch and the revival of king Azlan's period. There is some light drama where the younger brother betrays them all for some candies, a couple of beavers helping the siblings get to Azlan's army and a friendship plot between Lucy and a faun. Then there is a battle scene in the end where good triumphs over evil [remember, it's a fairy tale!!] and the kids become kings and queens and they all are again transported back to the professor's place through the wardrobe.

The story is told in such a way that is neither interesting nor boring. Everything in the movie is marked by formality - the dialogues, the screenplay, the photography and the art work. The conversation is not witty enough and it doesn't have that effusive enthusiasm that will keep the kids happy and the drama is so loosely constructed for an adult to be attentive. When visual effects are setting new standards, this movie's effects feels like 2001. The ape in KingKong was a piece of work; I could ruffle my fingers through the hairy skin of that giant ape. Whereas here, king Azlan (a lion) is a product of poor animation - it feels like a poster calendar. It's always snowing in the world of Narnia (because of a 100 year winter declared by the evil witch). But the photographer doesn't do anything to bring life to the frames shot in Narnia and they all look same, they all look bland.

There are two feel good factors - Georgie Henley who plays Lucy and Tilda Swinton who plays the white witch. Georgie doesn't overplay any scene and wavers between 'cute' facial expressions and 'authentic' reactions. Kudos to Georgie and the director for extracting high quality work. Swinton is a seasoned actor and doesn't need any introduction - she brings life to the white witch. 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' is not a bad movie. I don't regret the time and money spent on it. But if this is any indication of the quality of the sequel [Prince Caspian] I don't have a compelling reason to see that one.

0 Responses to “The Chronicles of Narnia - Movie Review”

Post a Comment