Last night, we saw the new Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie.
To say that I was disappointed, would only cover part of it. I’m also perplexed why a movie maker who has proven that they can make a good movie (viz: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe) felt the need to make such enormous changes to what was already a great story.
Dawn Treader has always been my favorite Narnia book. If there were a criticism to be made of it, it’s that there’s no great central quest in the story. There is a quest, but the story gets its interest from what happens along the way to the quest. It appears that Walden took this complaint and decided to dismantle the story and provide it with a Quest go to on. As a result, they pretty much ruined everything. They left out parts that I consider most important, and they inserted a very strange main plot for the action to move around.
Apparently a search for lost friends isn’t exciting enough to sell tickets? I don’t know. You can imagine someone writing the screenplay who hadn’t actually read the book, and thought that the dragon really needed more screen time, and that the seven lords thing wasn’t quite exciting enough.
We tried, on the way home, to figure out which bits they had done right. I don’t think we came up with anything.
We were disappointed with what they did to Prince Caspian, but what they’ve done to my favorite Narnia book goes beyond just disappointment. I think it dishonors Lewis. It’s normal for a film maker to take some liberties with the story, but to completely ignore the plot is inexcusable. Rather than saying that this movie is based on the book, they should rather say that it has many of the same characters, and a handful of the same locations, as a book that coincidentally happens to have the same name.