Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia - who will stay home?

It seems the buzz surrounding the release of this picture has been based on the Christian message interwoven into this story of fantasy and adventure. It is an easy sell for spiritual people looking for a reason to take their family out to movie. An adventure film with no cursing, and a positive message, what is not to like? But what about the non-Christian, why should they watch movie?

For those who are non-Christians, many will rebuke of this film without seeing it, stating they do not wish to be indoctrinated with the Christian message in a movie. Too bad for those who take this view. They will miss out what is a great story of innocence, hope, weakness, redemption and triumph. In their stubborn certainty, they may keep their children from seeing a wonderfully adapted movie with outstanding performances and stunning visually effects. Unlike most of what is churned out in Hollywood, the effects are not the basis of the movie, they complement the telling of the tale.

And what a tale it is. The many messages that I came away will differ from yours due to our past experiences, however the similarities in the truth and power of the story are universal. Where I may see a little more Edmund in my composition, you may identify with Susan's logic, Peter's courage or Lucy's innocence and openness. All will see the truth in the message of loving relationships, how the love for those we hold dearest is the force that keeps the snarling wolves at a distance. Nor would any of us wish for the Turkish delight, if we knew the price we and others would have to pay for its momentary indulgence.

While we can find a small part of ourselves in most of the characters, there is one whom all long to emulate. "Aslan is on the move" Just the mention of his name is enough to make the forces of evil shudder and drive the clouds from the sky. This power offers hope to all those trapped in their own 100 year winter.

I remember reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as a six or seventh grade student. Honestly, I don't remember the book having any lasting impact on my life or reading preferences, I just thought it was a good story. It was only when I re-read the book as an adult did the full meaning sink in. You may say that you are far too intelligent and logical to find meaning in a children's story, fair enough. This is not an intellectual study in spirituality or philosophy, it is the story of four children with gifts and faults and their journey into a magical land complete with good and evil. Maybe that is what will keep you away, the good are transformed into the very good and the evil is truly evil. Not many shades of gray to hide behind.

As a footnote, if this film would have been released a few years sooner, Roy from Siegfried and Roy may have been saved from his mauling. When the White Witch attacks with her hordes, the white tigers and clearly on the side evil. If only Roy would have known sooner...


Roseville Conservative said...

I went and saw this in a special preview on Thursday.

This is an absolutely excellent movie, for anyone of any faith or lack thereof.

I rarely watch movies in the theatre and this one was worth it.

Tex said...

CS Lewis always seemed to cure my insomnia, probably because I started with Mere Christianity. I'm guessing this book won't do that to me. I hope to see it this weekend. Merry Christmas and Happy Hannakuh.