Dawn Treader Movie Impressions
On November 18th, I was able to attend a preview screening of the Dawn Treader, thanks to Walden Media, Fox, Grace Hill Media and Narniaweb.com. Below are a few of my initial thoughts and impressions! I will have a full review up closer to the movie's release. Enjoy!
I laughed, I cried...it moved me, Bob! ;)
That would accurately sum up my reaction after seeing the Voyage of the Dawn Treader last night at a preview screening. Going into the film, I honestly did not know how I would react to the film. The production process had been so confusing and full of conflicting information. Either this film was going to be the best thing that has ever happened to the Narnia franchise, or the final nail in the coffin of fiction done a disservice by Hollywood.
Iím very happy to say that for me, I found the film very satisfactory.
Note that I didnít say that it met expectations. Thatís a broad term that could be interpreted in a million different ways. If you went into this movie expecting it to be bad, then yes, I think you could find enough to justify your expectations. If you went into this movie expecting it to be amazing, I also think you could have your expectations met.
Listen. This film is not perfect. Iím not going to lie; some of it really shocked me. I canít say that Iím one hundred percent pleased with the film, because Iím not...thereís some changes that I donít like, and I never will like them.
But the parts that they got right...they really, really got right. Itís hard to explain this further without giving too much away, but the heart of Lewisís book is there. And there are scenes where itís like the words of C.S. Lewisís book is just leaping off the page and becoming alive. And that alone nearly atones for any other sins that the filmmakers committed.
Wardrobe was iconic. Prince Caspian was epic. Dawn Treader is intimate. It takes you on a journey within the characters that no Narnia film has been able to grasp before. Despite being set on the vast uncharted waters of the Eastern Seas and having as epic and dramatic a plot line as any Hollywood studio could ask for, itís the characters, not the drama, that drives this story. Perhaps even despite itself, because it seemed very clear that the filmmakers wanted to make this film as epic and dramatic as they come. But the heart of the story won out, and it will be the amazing characters and their relationships with each other, not any green mist, that will be what makes this film great.
Dawn Treader is perhaps the most relatable of all the Narnia films thus far. Unlike Prince Caspian, Dawn Treader does not require vast knowledge of the books or the previous films. Therefore, a casual moviegoer could go see this film, and still enjoy it on its own merit. That is something that the Narnia franchise has been lacking, and it could be the magic potion that gives this film series a second chance at life.
Overall, I think fans of the books, fans of the movies, and casual moviegoers will all enjoy this film. It contains aspects that reach out to each individual group, and draws them in into one.
The movie starts well, gets a little lost in the middle, but finds its way in the end. And I think perhaps Aslanís lines at the end of the film sums up why we love Narnia so much...because by knowing him a little there, we might know Him better here.
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