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My youngest brother and I traded a night of sleep for the first opportunity to see the new Narnia movie. I don’t regret it. Though I went in with no real expectations and the knowledge that no movie could take the book’s place in my affections, Prince Caspian surprised me. In a good way.

Perhaps coming into it already knowing about the flirtations and romance, plot changes, and added elements such as the raid on Miraz’s castle enabled me to not be distracted by such. Overall, I enjoyed it. It is not as good as the book, but that is in part to do with genre and interpretation, not with actual quality.

No, it is definitely not the book Prince Caspian. Yes, I found the Susan/Caspian romance unbearable. No, they did not include Aslan nearly enough. Yes, they hit the nail on the head with the adjustment the children had to make returning to Narnia and finding it a wholly different world than when they left. No, I disliked the change which made Peter a weaker character and Susan a stronger one.

All criticisms aside, there is much of the real and true Narnia there (for one, the centaurs are fantastic!). You do not want to leave. The parting is made a bit easier by spending the last minutes of the movie saying goodbye with the children and stepping through the doorway from Narnia into the English tube station. Yet we all wanted to stay. None of us could.

For me, the most powerful moments of the film were unexpected and early: when the four children stepped onto the beach near the ruins of Cair Paravel the haunting strains of music from the first film began to play. The disbelief and joy on the Pevensie’s faces as they realized they were back and began running down the beach, laughing and playing…the bittersweet beauty of the music…I actually cried and I am not one to cry over a mere sentimental moment. This was beautiful. Not because of the beach or the literal melody being played. More than that, it spoke deep in my heart and roused the desire implanted in every believer’s heart to be Home.

As Lewis writes,

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing…to find the place where all the beauty came from.”

Narnia gives us glimpses of the beauty and stirs up our hunger for its Source. We all want to be Home. Sometimes the homesickness and loneliness for the place we know we belong can be unbearable. Any success through the arts of keeping that desire burning bright within us deserves recognition. Though I doubt such was the filmmakers intent, for me they got it just right.

7 Comments

  1. Lisa of Longbourn says:

    I didn’t like what they did to Peter, but I definitely needed his character in the movie. That’s where I was, sitting staring, and praying, and wondering if I can try again when I fail so many times.
    To God be all glory,
    Lisa of Longbourn

  2. the makers of Prince Caspian kept to the original story surprisingly well, all thinks considered… i heard they were going to make it into a silly pure-action flick, but thankfully this was not the case

  3. setapart4jesus says:

    Yes, I agree, Natalie, that Susan/ Caspian’s romance was unbearable. However, overall, I think that it was good movie.

  4. Stephanie says:

    That was my favorite scene as well, although I don’t think I entirely comprehended why until I read your words…so true, Natalie! This homesickness can be difficult, but it does make things much sweeter at the same time. We have so much to look forward to, as followers of Jesus!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This was beautiful Natalie. 🙂
    I was waiting for you to post something about Prince Caspian and you did not disappoint. 🙂 Thank you! 🙂
    I think the thing that stuck out to me the most was Lucy’s faith in Aslan, her complete trust that He would come though no matter how bleak the circumstances. I want that sort of trust.

    The longing for our heavenly and beautiful Home became tangible in seeing Narnia in that scene you wrote of. Beautiful.
    I’m looking forward to that precious day.

    ~Anna

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yes… I cried during that scene too. It must have been homesickness. You put your finger on it exactly.

    I cried again at the end, though. I hate leaving Narnia… in a way it represents the fulfillment of some longings that our world won’t satisfy.

    -Teresa

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