The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian starts off much darker than the previous film. In the 1300 years since the Pevensies left Narnia, the Telmarines have invaded and conquered it. Narnians are generally killed on sight, so they have remained hidden for hundreds of years. Very few dare mention Aslan’s name.
The Pevensies find themselves transported to Narnia while waiting for the tube (subway), and they are very excited until they find their castle in ruins. Prince Caspian—the rightful heir to the Telmarine throne—is on the run after his uncle tries to assassinate him. After a series of missteps, he joins with the Pevensies to try to retake his throne.
As with the first film, I found the casting in The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian to be spot-on. Sergio Castellitto as Miraz was excellent. He played the power-hungry would-be king to the hilt. Ben Barnes, playing Miraz’s nephew Prince Caspian, did a wonderful job being naive, headstrong, and noble at different points in the film. He was very dashing, too, so it was no wonder that Susan (Anna Popplewell) fell for him.
I loved all the scenes in the forests this time (there seemed to be a lot more of them, or perhaps it was just because they weren’t covered in snow). My favorite scenery was filmed near Bovec in Slovenia. The scenery there was simply magnificent. The river was an amazing shade of blue, and the valley was breathtaking. I applaud the filmmakers for filming there, and for helping the town to address a flooding issue by redirecting the river to a new course after they were done filming.
The pacing in The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian was smooth. The story moved along quickly enough to keep from wandering. It really was a very good adaptation of the book, keeping the most important parts intact. Andrew Adamson (who also directed), and the duo Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, really showed a love of C.S. Lewis’ work in how they adapted it to the big screen. I love it when that happens.
I wish the film had done better in the theaters. It was a very strong film, though perhaps it had trouble finding the right audience. The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian is still one of my favorite films, and I enjoy it every time I rewatch it. It drives home a lot of good lessons, and has numerous realistic role model characters. I think it is a great film on many levels.
Release Date: May 16, 2008 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Violence: 3 (multiple fantasy battles, sword combat, some brutal violence, death, nothing graphic)