Monday, February 07, 2011

Dawn Treader

I watched Voyage of the Dawn Treader the other day.  Of course it was excellent – how could it not be – but I want to comment on the psychological sidestory involving Lucy’s alleged sense of inferiority compared to her older sister Susan. 

Two problems with this.  First of all, Georgie Henley is coming along nicely and at 15 is, in her own way, every bit as pretty as Anna Popplewell.  But also, in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Lucy had already lived to adulthood and therefore already knows exactly what she will look like when she grows up.  Since this happens to be Georgie’s older sister Rachel, a certifiable hot babe, it’s not clear why a younger-again Lucy would suddenly be envious of her supposedly more beautiful sister.

I don’t recall this being part of the book, but then I don’t recall much of the book at all.


Anonymous said...

I take it you watched this in Hadji-vision?

Dr. Φ said...

Here at ISAF, it's called "The Fortress". Those who've been here know that we probably shouldn't be talking about it.

Anonymous said...

I was a little bit disappointed by Dawn Treader; I thought a lot of parts - especially my favourite parts - felt "rushed", and in particular my very favourite Christian Lesson was not included at all. On balance, it's probably the kind of book that's tough to transition into film.

As for the jealousy angle - yeah, it's not in the book, and there's something about Anna Popplewell's face that's not quite right anyway.

Dr. Φ said...

Samson: Remind me what the Christian message was again? Really, like I said, I can't remember anything in the book.

Anonymous said...

Samson: Remind me what the Christian message was again? Really, like I said, I can't remember anything in the book.

Well, as always with Lewis, there are probably a couple, but the one I'm referring to is this:

On the island with the Dufflepuds (who I felt got shortchanged in the film), Lucy reads the magician's book and casts a spell that allows her to gain power by spying on her school friends back home. In so doing, Lucy witnesses a friend speaking badly about her behind her back. She's initially hurt, but when Aslan stops by, realizes that the friend only said what she said out of peer pressure. She also realizes that it was wrong of her to spy on her friends for her own personal gain.

The lines of dialogue that I particularly like are these:

Aslan: Spying on people by magic is the same as spying on them in any other way. And you have misjudged your friend. She is weak, but she loves you. She was afraid of the older girl and said what she does not mean.

Lucy: I don’t think I’d ever be able to forget what I heard her say.

Aslan: No, you won’t.

I like that - three little words: No, you won't. From a Christian perspective, it's a powerful statement about the fact that the worldly result of our sin persists even after we are forgiven in a legal sense.

That's the gist of it, Phi, though as you can imagine it comes off more interestingly in the book.

Also, as much as I was a bit disappointed with the movie, I must say that Eustace was dead-on, and hilarious.

Justin said...

I really enjoyed what the movie did with Eustace. In the book he was a whiny little twit, who, through suffering, comes to a new maturity. Good message.

But in the movie... He becomes the central heroic figure of the story! And his relationship with Reep becomes endearing, engaging, and deeply moving. There were a couple places that dropped the ball just a bit, but overall, I thought the movie was better than the book.

Dr. Φ said...

Samson: that would have been a far better way of giving Lucy character development than what they actually did. I can't see why the movie changed it. But generally, most of departures from the original story do make the movies better.

Anonymous said...

As a man who recently realized I could no longer ignore those niggling suspicions and feelings, much like Lewis himself, and returned to the fold, I've actually been re-reading the books. Just finished Dawn Treader days before I saw the first preview, but I see Samson beat me to the punch, so I won't reiterate.

What I find interesting is that the books don't focus so much on gender differences. The girls are girls, but are also free to be truly strong. It's sad to read that the movie felt it necessary to force modern nonsense, i.e. "I'm not pretty enough," into the story.

It's more interesting that feminism was supposed to fix all such problems, but a book written 60 years ago didn't have to delve into such topics whereas the modern incarnation thereof did. Hooray progress!