The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

13 December 2010

There's a reason why I wrote this review ten days after the movie was released. For those of you who haven't seen this movie yet, you might want to skip this post as it is chock-full of spoilers. Okay, glad that's settled. 

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third movie adapted from C.S. Lewis' epic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. It is actually the fifth book in the series but I don't know if the producers have any plans of making movie adaptations for The Magician's Nephew and The Horse and His Boy. It almost didn't see the light of day, no thanks to the poor reception of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Thankfully 20th Century Fox stepped in, ensuring another delightful visit to the wonderful world of Narnia.

In the movie, the two younger Pevensies Edmund and Lucy were transported back to the now-peaceful Narnia, a year after they helped restore Prince Caspian as the rightful king. This time, they join King Caspian on his quest to bring back to their kingdom the seven lords who were banished by his usurping uncle, Miraz. Joining them aboard the Dawn Treader is their grouchy cousin Eustace, plus recurring character Reepicheep.

  • Ben Barnes as King Caspian
Because seriously, how can you not?
I am not a purist when it comes to movie adaptations and I do understand that there are several adjustments in the novels the producers would have to make to be able to give us a movie worth watching. There are some plot points that can sound so awesome when read and visualized using our own imaginations, but will look lousy when translated on film. The most notable change the producers have done is make the supposedly very young [and blond] Prince-turned-King into a very [hot and] handsome man. I am NOT complaining though. I just looove looking at him. :)
  • Will Poulter as Eustace Scrubb

He was such an effective actor! I disliked Eustace in the book at first (I mean, who would like a moaner and a whiner?) but Will did a great job on being an excellent comic relief, making him very likeable that you'll almost feel sorry for him while he's grumbling. And of course, his redemption was given a very nice treatment.
  • Georgie Henley as Lucy Pevensie

She has grown so much! It's almost hard to believe it was she who first discovered Narnia in the very first film. I think she has a lot of potential to be a very good actress someday.
  • The Dufflepuds

Just because :) They were funnier in the book (and their "Oppressor" Coriakin had more amusing anecdotes about them in the book), but I must say they were also given justice in the movie. They had less than ten minutes of screen time but they really owned their scenes. Love them ;D
  • Continuity

If you didn't see the second movie then you may not appreciate the scene when Caspian gave Edmund his torch (flashlight) back. You may remember him complaining at the end of the second movie - after they have returned to their real world - that he left his torch in Narnia ;D I also loved that there were two specific instances where Eustace's return to Narnia was foreshadowed: when he asked Aslan if he'll be back, and when his mother shouted from downstairs that Jill Pole looked for him. [Jill Pole is the girl who'll go to Narnia with him on the next book, The Silver Chair.]
  • Special effects

Their ship Dawn Treader. The most realistic dragon I have ever seen in a movie. The invisible mansion. The snow falling down on Lucy when she was in the library. Aslan. The Sea-Serpent. The evil Witch. See it in 3D if you can, it is ah-ma-zing. I will forever be awed by the wonders of human technology utilized to make movies like this even more enjoyable. These are the stuff that imaginations are made of :)
  • Ben Barnes as King Caspian
Oh, but did I say that already?

  • Caspian - Susan loveteam
Preferring to have Ben Barnes all by myself being out of the equation, the Caspian - Susan love angle cannot be found in any. single. page. in the book. No I am not a purist, but the producers should have just let the viewers in already on how Caspian would end up marrying the star Lilliandil. 
  • The mist
Again, not in the book. I must agree though that it made the movie more interesting as opposed to just looking for the seven lords as their main objective. There were other minor changes - like the chronological order by which they rescued the seven lords, as well as Lord Bern's backstory - but I think these are handled very well.

And because watching a movie is not complete without me tearing up even a bit, their last scenes with Aslan before they went back to our world made me sniff a little.

"Please Aslan, before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do make it soon."
"Dearest, said Aslan very gently, "you and your brother will never come back to Narnia."
"Oh Aslan!" said Edmund and Lucy together in despairing voices.
"You are too old, children," said Aslan, "and you must begin to come close to your own world now."
"It isn't Narnia, you know," sobbed Lucy. "It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?"
"But you shall meet me, dear one," said Aslan.
"Are - are you there too, Sir?" said Edmund.
"I am," said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there."

- from Chapter 16: The Very End of the World

That was a very touching scene, especially if you are in tune with your faith; it was almost like it was really God talking through the computer-generated lion.

I rate the movie:

PS: A dose of cuteness before I end this post. Remember these? It is amazing how much they've grown!

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2005)
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
Ben Barnes. Ben Barnes. Ben Barnes.

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