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Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Yes, the Philippines get to see the movie first before America does. I was in shock when Aiza asked me if Narnia is already on the run, and I was about to reply, "No, of course not! It is scheduled to be shown here like months from now, like what happened with The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe." But my curiosity won over my doubt and checked for our local listings. And then, there I saw. Narnia in 3D. Then preceeded by 2 of the most beautiful words for any enthusiast. NOW SHOWING. And 2 more words just made it in my dictionary. IN 3D. I know it might sound silly, just try to understand a movie enthusiast such as myself.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the 3rd book among the 7 which was written by C.S. Lewis. A masterpiece on its own right, Voyage is an epic once transferred to a movie.  I wasn't able to read the book although I own an unabridged edition of the whole series. (I stopped reading after Prince Caspian). Now, I have every reason to read the whole book until the end of the series. I could not make any comparison between the difference of the book from the movie. This review however, will detail how I felt as a moviegoer and may be influenced by how I look on the previously released movies.

Voyage seemed lost the feeling of being a Hallmark-type of production. There was no extravagance in the opening scene unlike from the previous movies. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe made me feel like a kid again, Prince Caspian made me feel emotional and overwhelmed with its grand scenery and heart-wrenching closing song. Voyage, on the other hand, missed to capture the feel. The only part which they caught my being are the scenes with Aslan on it. Although, he looks more 3d-ish to me compared to the other 2 films and at one point, some of Lucy's scenes. 

What makes the series so special is its biblical parallelism. This is the core of the whole series. The identity of Aslan, the whole concept of the end of the world and Aslan's country, Narnia itself and the people and magical creatures that surrounds it. This is the strength of Voyage. Although some of the plots were wasted, this simple concept of Aslan rescues the movie. If they hadn't made it right, the movie would have been an utter failure. Aslan's words can still pierce the heart and can affect realizations or somewhat a reminder of what should not be forgotten. 

These downsides may contribute to a new director, Michael Apted, with Enough (J.Lo) and some other movies I have never heard of as part of his resume. He filled Voyage with action scenes that made me feel like I'm watching a mash-up of a Bond movie and Pirates of Caribbean. Another factor why I could not feel the magic is that this is produced by a new studio. Disney gave up Voyage due to budget concerns and Fox came into the rescue. With The Silver Chair coming into a close (if they still plan to make one), have Andrew Adamson assume the throne he was supposed to fill in. A word of advise to Andrew: "Don't ever leave a series after making the Second Movie. Look what happened to Shrek. Shrek suffered intolerable repetitive embarassment from other directors. Learn from it. And Disney, get the franchise back from Fox, they do not understand magic."   

My December was surely greeted by a wonderful surprise this year. Voyage, though lacking in some aspects, is still watchable in 3D due to its magnificent special effects. Listen to Aslan attentively when he speaks. He is the only sensible character in the movie.


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