In a very celebratory mood, I entered the theater. All is perfect: the end of a long Master’s Degree and a free movie. My first reaction to Prince Caspian came when I heard it was a two hour and forty minute movie. I have always enjoyed long movies. They generally establish irrevocably the depths of each character. I enjoy that sense of thoroughness. I apply it to all my reading: if a book is not read from preface to conclusion, it has not been read at all. So every detail matters, but I have no intention of exhausting myself with such endeavor. So here are a few thoughts on Prince Caspian.
I was eager at the beginning, but at the end of the movie I felt somewhat relieved. I am not sure if I had too much on my mind or simply that the end seemed never to come. As an aside, I am avid Lewis reader, but never read his children’s works. Some have said that if I had read Prince Caspian, I as a purist, would have detested the liberties the movie takes. But since I never read the book, I felt optimistic, though filled with expectations since the first movie was outstanding.
Unlike the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was filmed in succession, the Chronicles of Narnia has a two-year gap separating the filming of the first and Prince Caspian. This is unfortunate to me. The characters (especially Lucy) looked much older than the supposed one year gap mentioned in the movie. Nevertheless, that was not much of a detraction from the central theme of the movie.
Prince Caspian began with a good background to the story of Caspian as an heir to the throne and King Miraz’s attempt to assassinate him. Caspian flees–thanks to his old mentor–and finds himself confronted with the Narnians, thought to have been annihilated. In despair, he blows the horn, which summons the kings and queens. The Pevensie siblings leave the tedious life of London back to Narnia.
The four characters shape the spiritual dimension of the movie. Little Lucy is a picture of pure faith; a faith that is not shaken by circumstances. Her child-like belief in Aslan’s power to defeat evil is a marvelous example of Paul’s command to live by faith and not by sight. Lucy is steadfast and an example for all her siblings of commitment and loyalty to her king.
Edmund, who was a picture of unbelief and stubbornness in the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe learns from his past mistakes and serves as a testimony of a changed heart. The power of Aslan’s sacrifice and the unwavering love of his family brought him to realize his foolishness and he turns from his ways.
Susan is a warrior. The gentle figure becomes strong in battle. She is the one who brings sense into Peter’s wild adventure in self-absorption.
Peter is struck with great arrogance in Prince Caspian. He is threatened by Caspian’s status as prince. His jealousy leads him to bring death into the camp. His wayward ways almost destroyed the remaining Narnians. Peter is the proud, but eventually repentant leader.
Much of the movie centers around decisions made by each character, mainly Peter and Prince Caspian. What will it take to restore Narnia to its original beauty? The strong will of a king or a prince, the strength of a people to survive extinction, or the faith of a little child to call on Aslan for help? The answer ultimately lies on the strength of the great king, not Peter and not Prince Caspian, but the One who preserves and restores paradise by His power and might. In the end, the enemies of peace are swallowed in the waters of judgment. In the same manner, the Egyptians fell by the hands of Moses, who trusted in his God.
Things do not happen the same way twice, as Aslan stated. There is no need for another sacrifice and there is no need for another resurrection. The work has been accomplished. Let the Narnians bring peace on earth and good-will towards men through the strength of the Great Lion.
Prince Caspian did not meet the demands of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Perhaps it may have been too long, and to some, the thrill of the battle was not as captivating as the first. But Christians can be pleased with another fantastic production containing Christian imagery, typological figures, and a faithful savior of His people.