One of the greatest joys of my childhood was reading C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series. My father used to read them to us every Sunday afternoon and shared with us with beauties behind the stories such as Lewis would have wished. His understanding of God’s Kingdom and Christ’s work of salvation are deeply embedded in those stories. No one can separate the Gospel from the Chronicles of Narnia.
When I first heard that there were going to be movies made of my favorite children’s books, I was overjoyed. Though my own imagery of the novels had been implanted in my head, I wished them to make movies out the books just as had been done with The Lord of the Rings. i had listened to audiobooks and the voices, especially Aslan’s, were truly horrifying. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe came out and I was pleased and then Prince Caspian followed. My favor for the movies dropped drastically due to the heinous mistakes and poor acting in the film. Perhaps I put too much in desiring them to follow the book but being an avid lover of Lewis, the film lost my approval.
Last night, I watched the Voyage of the Dawn Treader with my family and as I went, doubt gnawed at my heart for fear that the movie was going to be a flop like Prince Caspian. Needless to say I was pleased with the film overall though it did stray from the book a great deal. That book had been my favorite of the series and though I was disappointed they didn’t expound on my favorite parts, I was satisfied with its quality as a film and particularly with certain dialogues.
I won’t spoil this film for those who haven’t seen it but I would like to discuss some of the notable dialogues in the film since they remarkably resembled the shadow of Lewis’ true intent in the book. One of the particular reasons why I loved the book and now the movie was for Reepicheep, the noble mouse of Narnia. Movie goers be assured that Reepicheep is portrayed excellently in the film, no worries there. His dialogues are filled with words that truly reflect the true nature of Reepicheep.
At one point Lucy asked Reep if there were really such a place as Aslan’s country to which the mouse replied, “We have nothing if we have not belief”. Lucy was taken aback by his comment but Reep is right.”Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Lewis understood this well and used Reep as an example; Reepicheep believed on this since he was a mouseling and it was credited to him as righteousness for he entered Aslan’s country. Later on in the film when Aslan meets Lucy, Edmund, Caspian, and Reepicheep on the borders of his land, there are two principle dialogues, one by Aslan and the other by Reepicheep, that really captivated me and declared the truth of the Gospel. Reepicheep, who had gone through many adventures and sailed the sea to go to Aslan’s country bowed before the great Lion and explained his own inadequacies and humbly asked admittance into his land. Aslan smiled and welcomed him in. Lucy realized that she and Edmund would never be called back to Narnia and asked if they might see Aslan again. Aslan smiled at Lucy and replied that he had a different name in her world and that she should seek him there. Their purpose in coming was to know him a little in Narnia but that their journey with his other name would be greater in their own world. I felt these dialogues were of greater beauty than those in the first Narnia movie and they truly resemble Lewis’ intent in telling these stories. I was overjoyed to hear these quotes and they made me love the movie all the more despite the other non-book parts.