Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Return to Narnia: Review of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Marquis Poster
It has been over thirty years since I last read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  So when my wife and I went to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 3-D yesterday, we did not remember all the details of the story and in some ways, it was like returning Narnia after a long absence. Fortunately, time in Narnia is not the same as time in our world.

The casting of the character that played Eustace, and his performance, were superb. We hated the character from the first frame in which he appeared. By the end of the film, his transformation was complete, a transformation evidenced in both his face and his demeanor.

The same actors who played the characters of Edmund and Lucy in the first two films reprised their roles. With a few more years on them, they fit perfectly into the story, which is set after the first two films.

We had seen the previous two movies on the big screed but this was the first one we saw in 3-D. While the 3-D certainly added depth, it seemed not to be exploited for shock effect. I do not remember, for instance, any swords, arrows, dragons or sea monsters flying out toward the audience, which in my opinion, was just as well. While the world of Narnia is certainly a fantasy world and a world of magic where good and evil often battle, it is not a world where 3-D would be used for any other reason than to tell a good story. I am not a big 3-D fan and I wonder what our experience would have been different if the film had not been presented in 3-D.

By the end of the film, I was saddened to leave Narnia behind and to return to the shadow lands where the work of the White Witch was still covering roads and walkways.

I heard a few weeks ago that while The Voyage of the Dawn Treader opened at number one, it was a weaker opening compared to the first two films. I hope it is grossing enough to bring at least one more film, if not all four waiting for the big screen, into production. This classic tale deserves to have all seven installments available for viewing if the remaining four are produced with the same artistry as the first three.

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