Plotline: The four Pevensies kids, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, ruled Narnia for a long time before returning to England. It has been one year since they returned, and now they are just getting settled, when something pulls them back to Narnia. But this Narnia, hundreds of years later, is far different than they remember.
Conquered and ruled by Telmarines for 9 generations, this is Narnia where talking animals, dryads and nymphs exist only in stories (if at all) for common Telmarine inhabitants. And even for these “old Narnians”, Aslan and the days of Kings and Queens of Narnia are a story, even a myth. When the Lord Protector (and King-aspirant) Miraz has a son, Prince Caspian the Tenth has to run away to save his life. He stumbles across the “old Narnians”, and stands with them to gain his throne, as well as to get his new allies their rightful place in Narnia. He calls for Help by blowing the magic horn given to Queen Susan by Aslan, which brings the Pevensies back to Narnia.
Now they must unite with Caspian and call Aslan back. They must defeat the scheming Miraz, before his armies crush and finally annihilate the Narnians. But there is still a lot of treachery and dark magic in Narnia along with courage and honour.
Character-wise, like in the book, Peter and Lucy remain the same (authoritative and sweet, respectively) as their old selfs from “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, and Susan grows more practical, it is Edmund who has “grown” the most, having learnt quite a bit from his mistakes when he was last in Narnia. Prince Caspian seemed to me much more in command, and more mature than his book-self.
While the “informative bits” in writing make for some great jokes, book-fans will find some changes in storyline. Mainly, the meeting between Aslan and the kids is shifted in timeline, and the “final” battle is changed somewhat. But this does provide the movie with a “climax” (I have always felt that the plot of the book moved on quite level ground from start to end). Of course, the battle does conflict a bit with Aslan’s quote that “nothing happens the same way twice”, but I am sure nobody is complaining. Not to mention, the religious overtones of Narnia series (and in particular, the question of “faith” in Aslan) is handled pretty deftly.
Much more importantly, the movie is much darker, and slightly more “adult” than the book series. There are two important points which show this. (Plot points/Spoilers ahead) One, the battle of castle, which does not feature in the book, shows the cost of mistakes of war much more clearly. Secondly, being a children’s book, Peter tells Caspian that he has come “to help Caspian, and not take his place” when they first meet. But in the movie, (personally, much more realistic,) the two teenage boys of roughly the same age compete for the position of authority.
Of course, the overall handling of the movie is darker and hence more adult than the book. But this does not mean that the kids will not enjoy the commando attack by “paragliders”, or they won’t laugh at the antiques of the Pevensies, or of Master Mouse Reepicheep. I am not scaring the parents, just that you should know that we are talking more “Order of the Phoenix” than “Philosopher’s Stone”.
P.S. The movie opens with Capsian’s aunt giving birth to a son. Best luck explaining that to your kids.
Quote of The Day:
Prince Caspian: You’re not exactly what I expected.
Edmund Pevensie: Neither are you.
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