By Nick Kugge
Where the f–k is Prince Caspian?
There’s a folder on my laptop that never gets opened. It’s full of films, the type you don’t want to watch. Sequel number three (not that we needed the first two), B-movies from the 90s and some other treasures that I keep in case of Internet failure or nuclear war. Few days ago, despite none of the previous occurrences happening, I double-clicked on the folder and started to look for a film. It’s hard to pick one when you’ve been deliberately avoiding them for years. But one of them caught my attention, the title was so long it didn’t fit in the folder’s window: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It also reminded me a conversation I had with Laura on how I apparently looked like one of Narnia’s characters: Prince Caspian. I couldn’t resist, I had to meet his highness.
The film tells the story of four brothers and sisters who flee the city to the country side during the war. As they play in their new house they discover a secret passage, leading to the magical world of Narnia. 145 minutes later I was left with mixed feelings.
Like many other fairy tales, Narnia’s rich and coherent universe is the best element of the film. From animals speaking, mysterious prophesies and mystical creatures everything seems possible in Narnia. My favourite scene shows the encounter between the smallest sister and a faun. The creature is puzzled about what to do when the little girl reaches out to shake hands. She then realizes she actually doesn’t know why people shake hands when they meet. Nonetheless, they decide to shake hands in their own Narnia-way. All along the film, Narnia celebrates the endless possibilities offered by a child’s imagination and that’s something worth nurturing for the coming year.
Thus, I did enjoy the film’s universe. However, once the film ended – on a cliff-hanger – I didn’t feel like watching its sequels. I didn’t care about the characters. Unlike animation films – which are also aimed at kids – I find it difficult to attach yourself to magical heroes when they’re actual actors. Every time characters appear on screen it reminds me it’s a film, whereas animation movies take me away from reality.
Nonetheless, my biggest disappointment was not to see Prince Caspian, who appears in the second film. I guess I now have a reason to watch its sequel…