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groundless criticism time!

Yet another reason why I don't want to see the new Narnia film: I just heard a clip with Mrs Macready, the housekeeper. Despite the fact that she has a Scottish name, apparently the film decided she should have a really shit Irish accent. You know, we can actually say the "g"s at the end of our words, and if you're trying to do some sort of vaguely middle-class Irish accent, you should take that into account.

Also, since when did the Witch become the "Ice Queen"? And polar bears instead of reindeer? And a wardrobe that is so obviously weird and magic looking that you'd be surprised if there wasn't something odd going on, thus defeating the entire point of book's very ordinary and hence imagination-triggering wardrobe? The fuck?

Okay, I know that I'm criticising a film I haven't seen. But I don't want to see it, because it sounds so shit and if it really is that shit, I'd rather not have my memories of the book that basically introduced me to literature (I read it when I was five) despoiled. Apparently the religious stuff is really stressed in the film - I know Aslan isn't exactly a subtle Jesus allegory in the books, but it's not too overt at all in The Lion.... - I remember being very pleased with myself when I realised that, like Jesus, Aslan had died and risen again, but I was just impressed by what was basically the first allegory I'd ever encountered. And more importantly, you could easily read it without noting the religous overtones, not least because the god that dies and rises again is a myth much older than Jesus. But a film funded by some American Christian group - as this is, although they're not highlighting that on this side of the Atlantic - is unlikely to handle this in a subtle way.

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stellanova
Dec. 1st, 2005 09:38 am (UTC)
The thing I had most problems with is that kids of that age running battles hits my squick button - Aslan recruits them as child soldiers...

Wow, that never struck me before, but you're right, it is pretty dubious. It's funny, as a child it seems completely normal that they fight in a battle. Now "send that eleven year old in to fight a wolf!" seems pretty monstrous.

I actually don't think the Christian stuff is enormously heavy handed in that book - unlike some of the later ones - mostly because it's surrounded by all the Classical stuff, so when you read it as a kid, Aslan=Jesus isn't so overbearing.

What about the wardrobe itself? From the trailer and still shots it looks ostentatiously magicky, and I really do think that Lewis's idea of turning a very ordinary wardrobe, the sort you might have in your own room as a child, into a gate into another world is one of the greatest ideas in literature. I don't think I know anyone who read that bookas a child and didn't try the back of a wardrobe just once and almost convince herself that it was going back just a little bit too far. There are very few things that will trigger a child's imagination like that - unlike, say, Harry Potter, where everything is obviously magic and rather flashy.
radegund
Dec. 1st, 2005 11:41 am (UTC)
What about the wardrobe itself? From the trailer and still shots it looks ostentatiously magicky...

Yes! I want to know this too. I saw the trailer ages ago and was incensed at the Disneyfication of the wardrobe. The cheesy music, the rays of light, the awe-faced child. That's not what's supposed to happen AT ALL! She jumps into the wardrobe as a last-minute hiding-place and stumbles out into a different world. The understatedness of the event as described in the book is what gives it its power. Gnrgh.
leedy
Dec. 1st, 2005 02:38 pm (UTC)
I don't think I know anyone who read that bookas a child and didn't try the back of a wardrobe just once and almost convince herself that it was going back just a little bit too far.

Or were convinced by an older sibling to get into a wardrobe on said grounds and were then locked into it? Ahem.

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