Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Film Review

I have a bone to pick with the American public when it comes to film.

Entering the theater on opening night, I was not expecting Narnia to draw out massive Harry Potter style crowds. However, I was expecting at least a full crowd of families, kids and 20-somethings that read the series as children. Sadly, in my half-full, or half-empty (depending on your outlook) theater, I sat. Puzzled about how such a beloved, well-written series could be reduced to half-full/half-empty theater crowds, I began to lose faith in the public. Did people not support this film because they didn’t support Christianity? Or was it because the actual film itself? But, I digress…

It’s no secret that this film went through its fair share of challenges. Disney dropping the series, the two eldest characters not involved in the storyline, the re-written plot, and Liam Neeson’s pluralistic interview (at least, for the Christian audience) all dampened the excitement of the third installment of Narnia.

Warning: Contains Spoilers!

The opening scenes start a little slow. With beautiful casting on the character of Eustace, we are introduced to a boy who we instantly dislike (as we are supposed to, of course). As with all Narnian theology, he will be redeemed; but, for now, his demeanor would have made C.S. Lewis quite giddy to have watched on-screen. Familiar faces of Caspian and Reepicheep arrive upon our two royals (Edmund and Lucy) entering Narnia with their dreaded cousin, Eustace. An evil continues to spread like a cancer throughout all of Narnia. An evil that can only be vanquished by the swords of the seven kings being laid at the Table of Aslan. (Symbolic, no?)

How do they get these seven swords, you may ask? By traveling, by ship, to various locations. Dealing with deadly temptations of lust, greed and envy, all of our characters are tempted to fall to evil. One thing that particularly interested me was “the mansion” that Lucy entered. Did anyone see the cross-references of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress here? “The Magician” or “Slaver” possibly just being “The Interpreter” from the most famous Christian allegory of all time? Regardless, after vanquishing evil with the help of a redeemed Eustace, our characters are reunited in Aslan’s country for a heartfelt and tearful goodbye.

Hands down, the best part of the film is Reepicheep’s final goodbye. In a beautiful Christian picture, he lays down his sword from this earth as he ascends (not descends) to his final resting place. I must admit that I teared up. It was a beautiful picture of “death” just being the next life. It’s how every Christian wants it to end. However, the departure of our main characters from Narnia is their last, and final departure. They have learned all they can from the magical world of their fantasy and must take their lessons into the real world. Then again, Eustace has only begun…

In all reality, I guess my animosity should be directed to not only the American public, but Walden Media for condensing seven classics into three movies. Whatever the case, the film is worth seeing just for the final scene. Not to mention, I support any film that is appropriate for kids in this increasingly de-sensitized world.

Continue to be entertained.

Advertisements