Usually, after seeing one of the Narnia movies in the theater, I hasten to write my own thoughts and impressions before reading other people’s opinions and other people’s movie reviews. I do this to make sure that I write exactly what I personally think without influence from anyone else.
Unfortunately, for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I was too lazy to do this and so I’ve already read the mixed reviews out there on this movie. Well, I’ve seen the latest movie from Narnia franchise both in 3D and 2D, and I personally enjoyed the 2D version better (because I didn’t have to get distracted by the 3D glasses slipping off my nose).
Here are some of my not-so-organized thoughts on the movie.
“You’re on the DAWN TREADER” (or so says the minotaur)
Let me open with one of the funniest scenes in the movie, when Eustace was hysterically demanding to know where he was, and the minotaur told him that he was on the Dawn Treader. Eustace faints, and the surprised minotaur turns to Caspian and asks, “Was it something I said?”
Anyway, I thought I’d dedicate a part in this blog entry about the boat itself, the Dawn Treader. During the production stage, I was looking at how this boat was being built, and I didn’t like it at all, mainly because I thought the dragon head looked scary. Well, come movie time, the Dawn Treader took my breath away – it was so lovely, and grand, and it had a wonderful purple sail!
The Eustace and Reepicheep Show (“It’s a dance, boy!”)
For some reason, there are two major characters in the Narnia books that I never particularly warmed up to – and those two are Eustace and Reepicheep. But this movie completely changed that.
In the movie Prince Caspian, I did not enjoy how they made Reepicheep a comic relief because I felt he was too valiant and proud (in the book version at least), and he took himself too seriously. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader though, I didn’t mind at all that Reep had so many funny lines. And I particularly loved his line, “We have nothing if not belief.”
There are two scenes involving Eustace that I really loved in the movie, even though they weren’t necessarilyl in the book. The first is the scene where Reepicheep turned the duel into a fencing lesson for Eustace (and Reep tells him, “It’s a dance, boy!” or something to that effect). We see a faint glimmer of the post-dragon Eustace in his initial reaction when Reep congratulated him afterwards, which was a tentative smile, which was of course followed by his defense about how the results would have been different if the playing field was more level.
Another scene I loved was when dragon Eustace grabbed Edmund, dramatically flew around the Dawn Treader, before showing him the words “I am Eustace” on the ground. I also loved how the dragon Eustace resembled the boy Eustace.
When Reep approached the teary eyed dragon who couldn’t sleep, I thought it was the sweetest thing. I also loved how he assured Eustace that extraordinary things happen to extraordinary people.
Another scene that I loved was when dragon Eustace saw the sea serpent and turned around in fright. Reep dropped to his nose and said, “Look at me!” Eustace looks at him sullenly, but did as he was told – he went back to fight.
I really thought these two stole the entire show, and I’m now fully confident that Eustace (or more correctly, Will Poulter) can carry the weight of the next movies on his shoulders (if they ever get made). After all, it will be all Eustace in The Silver Chair and The Last Battle (well, along with Jill Pole of course).
Finally, it’s Caspian, not Cathpian
I am SO glad that Ben Barnes went back to his natural British accent for the movie (and he grew an Aragornish beard as well!). There’s just something about Narnia that always felt British, so it really threw me (and a lot of other fans) off when Prince Caspian appeared on screen with a vaguely Mediterranean accent. Actually, the reason for the accent does make sense, it just didn’t feel right for me.
Edmund and His Never-Ending White Witch Flashbacks
I’m actually okay with all the White Witch flashbacks in Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, although a lot of fans are complaining about it. I understand that it’s there because they need a bit of continuity from one movie to another. But then again, the moviemakers need to consider that the Narnia series is a lot different from any of the other fantasy series out there – there are always new major characters in every book. Oh well. Perhaps if I’ve betrayed and nearly killed my siblings as well as an entire country for turkish delight, I’ll probably have flashbacks for the rest of my life as well.
All in all, I thought Edmund and Lucy were very grown-up and mature in these movies, and they are getting better and looking better as they grow up. But I still liked them both better in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe because there was something so raw and natural about how they acted.
The Swirly Green Mist
Okay, so this was the plot twist I was most worried about. I’m not too happy about it, but I can live with it. I just hope they made it that way and that color as a foreshadowing of the Lady of the Green Kirtle, the villain in the next Narnia movie, The Silver Chair. I just hope that if they ever made that into a movie, they won’t get Tilda Swinton for the role because it would be way too confusing for a lot of movie-goers.
All in all, I was very pleased with this movie, and I hope it earns enough to get the next Narnia movie greenlit. In the meantime, I’m going to do my part to help the movie make money by watching it as many times as I can afford, and getting my friends and family to watch it too. I still have faith that they can make The Silver Chair, mainly because I’d love to see Puddleglum on the big screen. As Reepicheep said, “We have nothing if not belief.”