Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Review : The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (2006)

The Chronicles of Narnia : The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe - Four evacuated war children travel through a wardrobe to the magical land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it from the clutches of an evil witch who has covered the land in ice and snow, and with the guidance of a mystical lion they will help restore peace to Narnia.

My only caution element to people who watch this film, is not to get too caught up in the drama of the fantasy. Overall viewing it, the film has some sad, scary, and violent scenes for it's PG film. The film begins with a realisation of the horror of the time in which it's set, the time where bombing during the Blitz in London was going on. The children are separated from their mother, which could upset some younger audience members. There are other sad scenes where animals die; including principle characters. So there are some intense moments of upset and worry to watch out for, because sometime the film goes too deep into drawing out the sentimental values of it's audience that it crosses a line a bit and goes over the top.

For instance A witch yells at a young boy, chains him in prison, and stabs him. She also abuses her servant, stabs her enemies with a sword that turns them to stone, martyrs the lion, and leads troops into battle. The children learn to fight, then engage in hand-to-hand combat and sword fighting; one sister shoots an enemy with an arrow. There is a pitched battle with deaths and grave injuries. While not overt, the film includes graphic violence and fan-sank which has nothing to do with the books, also contains christian imagery and allegorical story lines.

Here's a clip.

Long directed by Shrek's Andrew Adamson, Narnia makes a case for love among siblings by granting them a common enemy to fight against, however what can four children who are not heroes do against a White witch?. I think I would say the scariest scene for me personally, and I'm sure for many others who view this as well comes at the start: a night sky is filled with smoke and warplanes. As the Germans bomb London during WWII, the Pevensie children scramble to the backyard bomb shelter. designates moral positions in part by associating certain animals and mythical creatures with them. 
The battle scene at the end is very much like Lord of the Rings franchise, assembled according to beauty and horridness: sleek and elegant animals like cheetahs and horses and centaurs form Aslan's crew; ogres, dwarves, and minotaurs constitute The White Witches' fearsome assembly. None of the christian elements are obvious and a viewer can watch the film without realising any of this, as apposed to say reading the book.

The final battle returns the children to the film's opening, so everything runs full circle and they end up back at the Professor's house. All works out well at the end, and of course it leaves off the possibility of 'will there be anymore Narnia stories'? It is decidedly so. There have been two more preceding this one, and they're both terrible. As for this, I'll give it a 6/10, It's okay, but not anything special.
NEXT: Gnomeo & Juliet.

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