"Once a King or Queen of Narnia, ALWAYS a King or Queen of Narnia."
Just got back from seeing the Narnia movie: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
This is the nearest thing to a perfect adaptation that has ever been done, as far as I can remember.
From the opening with the London Blitz -- giving us a graphic explanation for those too young to understand why these children were sent away from their parents to some stranger's home -- to the final return to the real world, this is a demonstration that it is unquestionably possible to take a book and turn it into an adaptation which loses virtually nothing from the original and brings that original to life. There are so many brilliant and touching points in this film that I won't even attempt to talk about them all. I'll just hit the high points.
ASLAN: The prime mover behind all events, Aslan is the image on which the movie will stand or fall. And it stands, and roars triumphantly to shake the theatre and say "I HAVE COME!". He is not a Tame Lion. He is THE Lion, the Lion any reader of Narnia has known, whether he was Christian to begin with or, like me, never noticed the Christian imagery until someone else pointed it out.
JADIS, the WHITE WITCH: PERFECT. It was startling, amazing, and somewhat disquieting to see how they managed to make her both beautiful and repellent, a woman who was lovely and yet had... SOMETHING wrong with her. And how they didn't pull a single punch. She is as devastating as winter gone berserk, a moving, lethal, gorgeous ballet of destruction.
The Four Children: Stunning. Lucy is brilliantly played, and so are the others -- Edward's pettiness and the price he pays for it, Peter's almost impossible transformation from British schoolboy to young king on the battlefield, Susan's thoughtfulness crossed with overcaution... Just lovely.
NARNIA: I'd spend too long babbling to even make sense. Perfect.
I haven't walked out of a theater so uplifted since, well, maybe seeing Star Wars for the first few times.