Sunday, December 11, 2005

Chronicles of Narnia, LWW (movie review)

The Narnia books were important to me as a kid. I was hooked on this first one by my teacher at the Junior English School in Rome -- she read it aloud to our class. This movie refreshed (and replaced) a lot of boyhood fantasies. I credit C.S. Lewis for piquing my curiousity about Turkish Delight (not a bad treat as it turns out).

Now that I'm older, it's the Ice Queen herself I went gaga over -- brilliantly cast. Paradoxically, her DNA seemed the closest to human of any in Narnia. I confess I was sorry to see her taken out.

The IQ's general, a bovine, I took as symbolic of the ancient cults of a more Minoan flavor, the ones that worshipped, danced, fought, and traded with bulls (like some still do in Spain). I agree that lions and big predatory cats in general are prettier and probably more worthy as religious idols (although they're less convenient as food).

I was glad to see the forces of good included fauns and centaurs. Lots of Christians want to purge the ranks of any goat-like or even horse-like creatures, given some effective Church propaganda of ages past. Humans have come a long way overcoming their racism, but still harbor beaucoups bigotry against so many in the animal kingdom.

Mr. Tumnus, who looks very Pan-like and plays a mean set of pipes, only flirts with being evil out of fear of the secret police. Edmund is likewise more clueless and mean than outright bad. The IQ gets both amateur disloyals in her dungeon per job description. She didn't write the deep magic, just knows the code really well (Aslan didn't write it either, but is an even deeper reader).

The wolves seemed the most evil, what with their snarly American accents and all (not that the entire dog family was implicated). Maybe the chief wolf was someone the IQ could snuggle with. She had a tough and lonely job and now that I'm older, I can more empathize with that.