Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

When I first heard that Walden media had taken over the third installment of the Narnia series I was somewhat skeptical, as Disney had already done a lovely job of making The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. Also, there were rumors that it was going to be made in Digital 3D, and even though I always go and see films in 3D I think that film-makers can often get caught up in making all the jumpy-out bits that they sometimes forget the more important parts like the story-line and the dialogue!! The trailer was full of fantastical sets and magic, but the part that really caught my eye was when the bedroom was filling up with water and the children swam to the surface to find themselves in Narnia - so beautiful! But I needed to see the film properly to make my mind up about it and to see if it was made of more substance like it's predecessors...

The film is set three years after Prince Caspian, and the two youngest of the Pevensie children, Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley) are staying with their cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter) which they are not too happy about; Edmund is struggling with the fact that in his world he is not old enough to be a soldier, and Lucy is envious of her older sister Susan who is away in America with their parents. Luckily the children are still eligible to enter Narnia and upon arrival they are rescued by the now King Caspian (Ben Barnes) and their old friend Reepicheep the warrior mouse (this time voiced by Simon Pegg), and taken aboard the beautiful ship The Dawn Treader where they join the voyage to rescue the seven Lords of Narnia whom had been banished by Caspian's Uncle Miraz.

When I finally saw the film at the cinema (yes, in 3D) I came out with only one criticism, and the people I went with agreed, that the only thing that ruined the film was that the cinema screen was extremely dark, and with the glasses on it made it even darker to see much when the film itself was set in low light. But apart from that I loved the film and couldn't wait for its Blu Ray release (typical me!). The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is full of swashbuckling adventure, monsters and magic, with stunning sets and costumes. The film is very visual which I love, as I read all the books as a kid and it is so amazing to see them brought to life so beautifully and realistically (don't get me wrong though, there will always be a place in my heart for the late 80s/early 90s BBC versions). I had spent ages thinking of things from the book and wondering 'how will they do this?', 'how can they make falling into a painting to enter Narnia look good?' etc. but somehow they did it, and I was impressed. I also like that this film centers around Edmund and Lucy, who are more in depth characters than their older siblings; Edmund is more complex and has had more of a personal journey since the first installment, and Lucy is the one who discovered Narnia in the first place and is just lovable in general. Also, newcomer Will Poulter was the perfect actor to be cast as the annoying cousin Eustace; I was aware of Poulter from watching School of Comedy and Son of Rambow and knew he would be hilarious. Oh, and fans of Liam Neeson will love Aslan's short-but-sweet appearances, and fans of Ben Barnes will just love, well, Ben Barnes! All-in-all a light-hearted adventure which will re-capture your childhood, make you laugh and treat your eyes in this visually stunning installment of the Narnia Chronicles

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