Home Book news The Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: a Christian nonsense

The Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: a Christian nonsense

by Louisa Klein

We hoped we’d never see this threequel, but life is hard and pitiless, so here we are. After ‘Prince Caspian’ stiffed at the box office, Disney decided to cut its losses and pulled the plug. Then, oh, miracle!, a rich deus ex machina came, Christian (and conservative) billionaire Philip Anschutz (Walden Media) bringing this much-awaited third film back from the Limbo, in association with Fox.
Here’s the plot: the two youngest Pevensie children, Lucy and Edmund, are staying with their odious cousin Eustace Scrubb while their older brother Peter is studying for his university entrance exams with Professor Kirke, and their older sister Susan is traveling through America with their parents. Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace are drawn into the Narnian world through a picture of a ship at sea. (The painting, hanging neglected in the guest bedroom that the Pevensie children were using, had been an unwanted present to Eustace’s parents.) The three children land in the ocean near the pictured vessel, the titular Dawn Treader, and are taken aboard.
The Dawn Treader is the ship of Caspian, King of Narnia, who was the key character in the previous book and film(Prince Caspian) in which Edmund and Lucy, along with Peter and Susan helped him gain the throne from his evil uncle Miraz.
Three years have passed since then, peace has been established in Narnia, and Caspian has undertaken his oath to find the seven lost Lords of Narnia. Lucy and Edmund are delighted to be back in Narnia, but Eustace is less enthusiastic, as he has never been there before and had taunted his cousins with his belief that the country never existed. The Talking Mouse Reepicheep is also on board, as he hopes to find Aslan’s country beyond the seas of the “utter East”. Together, they will have to reach a mysterious island and retrieve seven swords to place at Arslan’s table while the White Witch attempts to lead them into temptation.
Unfortunately, though well-directed and with convincing special effects, the film is really full of evangelical nonsense which could deter agnostic fiction lovers from becoming fans.
For instance, a spell refers to the truth in Theology, new character Eustace, magisterially played by promising young actor Will Poulter, is an annoying prig of a disbeliever who is eventually converted (after having been turned into a dragon). And there’s plenty more of this Christian proselytism if you choose to look for it.
Also, the producers could have spared us the very bad 3D effects: we suggest to watch the film in simple 2D if you can, you’ll enjoy it much more. In compensation, a stunningly gorgeous Ben Barnes plays a pretty expressionless but awfully sexy Prince Caspian.
Louisa Klein
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
Director: Michael Apted
Writers: Christopher Markus (screenplay), Stephen McFeely (screenplay), and 2 more credits »
Stars:Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley

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