Movie Talk,  MovieMuse Reviews by Erin

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

In a Nutshell: Okay. Glorious attention to detail, beautiful to watch, but I ultimately found it a bit boring.

Quick Plot: Four siblings in war-torn England are sent to the country for safety. There, they find a magical realm within a wardrobe in the spare room, ruled by a white witch who is constantly on guard for the four humans who are foretold to end her reign.

In Detail: By now, I’m sure we all know that Disney was presenting this film on two fronts, and I am happy to say that it walked the fine line between the two camps very well with this production (probably helped by the fact that Disney is mainly a distributor in this case, not a major producer in anything but the money department). They did not downplay the obvious Christian overtones, nor did they downplay the magical aspects. They presented the story, both “faces” of it, just as it was portrayed in the book; you may read as much or as little into the parallels as you would like in this wonderfully fantastical world. But given that I have read the book (though it was several years ago), and given that it is a Christian allegory, it was way too predictable. I know, many films are now, and what can I expect from a book as old as this one; I also didn’t expect it to stray from the book (that would truly have been sacrilege). It just felt plodding and boring, though I’m not sure how that could have been fixed. (Hey, we all knew the boat sank (Titanic) and Anakin became Vader (Sith), but we still went to see those.) Still, it is a good movie, fine for most children, though some of the witch’s creatures might be a bit frightening for sensitive little ones at the “table scene” near the end. The make-up and effects were very well done indeed, and the attention to even the smallest detail is fabulous, but in the end, it just wasn’t enough for me. I do look forward to future Narnia installments, though. Perhaps I shall enjoy the ones I have not read a bit more.

Will I Buy It? Not just yet. If I like future installments, then I’ll go back and pick this one up.