...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Day 1931: Happy Oyster


Today, Daddy Richard made us watch The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe.

WHAT a WASTE of life THAT was!

To start with, I was VERY confused because I thought the big bad lion was the BADDIE!

Here is the evidence:

I am an ELEPHANT: Lions are BAD. Even the one at the start of the JAMES BOND films.

Peter and Susan were bullying Edmund: they might be posh, but they were still bad – they were on the Lion’s side. Lion bad.

Edmund met the White Witch and she gave him SWEETIES (even if they were YUCKY Turkish Delight). Lion. No sweeties. Bad.

Also, aren’t WHITE witches supposed to be the GOOD ones?

[A: Yes, but this is called ‘propaganda’.]

And the Lion was played by QUI GON JINN from STAR WARS: he thought it would be a good idea to let DARTH VADER be a JEDI and look at all the trouble THAT caused!

So on the whole I was a bit surprised that we were supposed to be SAD when Qui Gon Lion who we’d just met five minutes ago got himself killed by the White Witch.

Although I was even more surprised that that wasn’t the end. Then he went and played his get out of being dead card and the film went all LORD OF THE RINGS lite.

Actually, that was a REALLY unbelievable bit: the reason KING ARAGORN can whip the butts of fifty TROLLS is because he has been training to be a SUPER-HERO for, like, eighty years and also he wasn’t TWELVE!

Daddy Alex has explained to me that most of the things in the book are METAPHORS; that is, they are made up things to make you think of something else. So in the BOOK the METAPHOR battle is REALLY about Peter finding COURAGE, which is why if all happens OFF.

The main problem it turns out is that this film is missing the most IMPORTANT character of all: the narrator, CS LEWIS himself! The book is written in a much more CHATTY style. It is like a COSY story told to you by a FAVOURITE UNCLE.

(No, NOT the one with the WERTHER’S ORIGINALS: he’s CREEPY!)

This is why we do not care whether Qui Gon Lion gets the chop: in the BOOK, the narrator has lovingly built up a PRESENCE for him while he is still off-stage by telling us lots of lovely things about him and telling us how even his name makes the good people (and/or Peter and Susan) feel WARM AND FLUFFY inside.

Daddy Alex mutters the word “insidious”. But also “comforting”.

Narnia is NOT about some great sweeping epic goodies versus horrible-mutant-orc baddies, no matter how many sweeping HELICOPTER shots over the landscape the director throws at you. Sweeping HELICOPTER shots are GOOD for huge historical narrative, but TERRIBLE for this sort of PERSONAL journey and only EMPHASISE that you are missing the COMFY narrator.

Without “Cuddly Uncle Clive” this FILM turns into a horribly PO-FACED attempt to do Tolkien on the CHEAP.



Will said...

I liked it when Aslan was played by the Physician from Doctor Who and the Reign of Terror.

Isn't the nice old man who gives our Werthers Originals HRH The Emperor Sir Menzies Campbell?

Millennium Dome said...

Oh, Mr Will I am SHOCKED! How can you describe Mr the Merciless as "a nice old man"!

He will take your Werther's Originals back!

Mike Taylor said...

My response on leaving the cinema after this one was this was all very nice, but they replaced Aslan with a talking lion, which rather removed the point of the whole thing.