The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is one of the most awaited movies of the year and more importantly one of the most awaited sequels in a long time. Does it live up to the hype and the anticipation or will it leave you feeling that the first part was better? No need to wait till Friday, just read on!
The Good: The story picks up in 1941 in London – one year after the last movie left off. But that’s just in human years. In Narnia, that’s 1300 years. So you can safely expect a lot of changes (some for the better) this time around. For starters the four Pevensie children – Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy have grown up both chronologically and as far as their acting skills are concerned. Georgie Henley as Lucy in particular stands out from all the four children and is perhaps the only from the four who still retains a cheerful, child-like countenance in a movie which heavily emphasizes on loss of innocence.
Cinematically too, director Andrew Adamson has raised his game a couple of notches in what will be his last directorial venture in The Narnia Series. The breath taking locations in which the magical land of Narnia has been set in have been done full justice by the camera work. The special effects too are definitely a lot more realistic than last time. But fancy camera-work and special tricks aside, it’s the tone and the pacing of the movie that does the trick. If you’re expecting dancing trees and cheerful talking animals, be prepared to be disappointed. Part two of The Narnia Series is definitely darker, more serious and more mature as compared to the first part.
The Bad: Owing to the fact that The Narnia Series is not a trilogy, the sequel does not try to spectacularly set up a third part. The film-makers instead seem content in matching the standards of the first part and raising the bar a bit if needed. The story-line of the movie is on the predictable side for a movie that endeavours top garner a larger adult fan base. Another problem that Prince Caspian encounters is a common malady when it comes to epic-scale fantasy movies – too many leading characters. As a result, the four children do not get equal screen time. Edmund (Skandar Keynes) especially is reduced to a side-kick to his older brother Peter (William Moseley). The romantic angle between Susan (Anna Popplewell) and Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) also does not necessarily add anything to the movie. The soundtrack is a bit sombre and toned down this time around and one really does miss some heavy crunching guitar riffs especially during the spectacular fight scenes. And finally, the climax is not exactly a knock out punch, but more of a ‘tasteful ending’, which might come as a disappointment to some.
The Verdict: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is by no means a disappointing movie. It is in fact a pretty solid sequel. But at times one gets the feeling that the film-makers try to stay within the pocket and not dazzle the audiences. Maybe they’re saving the fire-works for the third part. Overall, it should be a hit with audiences who enjoyed the first part. Those who didn’t might not however be blown out of the water with this one. The movie is definitely more ‘grown up’. But it remains to be seen whether this will go down with the younger audiences who were largely responsible for the success of the first part.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
What the Ratings Mean:
0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!