Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thoughts on Prince Caspian

Our family saw the movie Prince Caspian today, for Father's Day. I loved it.

No, it didn't perfectly copy the book. They left out some of my favorite lines and added several goofy ones. I had heard enough to be prepared for most of the changes, and they mostly weren't bothersome. But I wasn't prepared to be deeply moved by this movie--and I was.

The sight of ruined Cair Paravel affected me.

Caspian's plight was more desperate and more noble than I remembered. The temptation to be like his wicked ancestors was more real; the higher good at stake seemed more emperiled by the temptation.

I was struck by the task given to the four children--summoned to help fight in a great battle, but without clear directions given. Had they been quieter, been better listeners, been able to put themselves aside, like Lucy, they would have seen Aslan too, and followed his guidance. Instead, they plunged into fruitless battle, doing what they thought they should do, what needed doing. So like me!

Though Caspian and Peter were tempted by the power and beauty of the White Witch, I loved that it was Edmund--the one who had once served her and been redeemed out of her bondage--who was able to see clearly and break the spell of Black Magic which had conjured her.

I remembered that Lucy, the gentle, the one who listens, who sees Aslan when no one else does, is also a healer.

She helps summon the trees to life. The line that has struck me most in the whole movie was hers, as she grieved, "They used to dance." I felt it again when she spoke, longingly, the word "Awake" to the trees. Though they seem "dead," she, in faith, speaks life in them.

As I was pondering the symbols of ruined Cair Paravel, the bound-up trees, Talking Animals who had become dumb, and Narnians in hiding for their lives, God led me to this Scripture passage, which I imagine must have informed C.S. Lewis' imagining of this story:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath ...sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. (from Isaiah 61)

Is this not what all Christians are called to do? Not in our own strength--like Peter--but by listening for the still, small voice, by watching and waiting--like Lucy--for the Lord's leading and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. In that power, we can speak the words, pray the prayers, minister the message that will free those trapped in sin and call into life those who are spiritually dead. We are called to be agents of healing, of bondage-breaking, of life, of ruin-rebuilding--and when neccessary, of battle.

It's a high calling!


mama said...

Hi Jeannie! I must admit, I was quite disappointed in Prince Caspian, but perhaps if I had read your comments first, I might have found more value in it :) I was most annoyed with the "romance" between Susan and Caspian.

But mostly I wanted to suggest that you listen to Father Stewart's message from today. he preached on Matt 9:35 and it echos a lot of your own thoughts in this post.

I am really enjoying reading about your family settling in up north - your new home looks beautiful and I envy the bike path and the lake so close!!



Heather said...

I'm glad to read that someone liked the movie! I've yet to see it myself (waiting for the cheap $1 theater), and everyone I know who has seen it has hated the changes. I hope that Walden Media listens to the critics and follows the books more closely in the rest of the series. The "Silver Chair" and "The Last Battle" are my favorites of the books, and I couldn't bear for them to be messed up!

truevyne said...

I didn't love the movie, but I did love your thoughtfulness concerning it.

tonia said...

i thought the movie was really good, too, Jeanne - for many of the same reasons you did. my only complaint was the fake spanish accent. :)

but that Lucy is darling, as are all the Pevensie kids. they did such a good job with the casting!

thanks for such a beautiful review!