Thursday, January 12, 2006

Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And Warmed Over Kid Lit

Mark Morford has written (per usual) a very funny piece about something. He's always writing funny pieces about things.

This time, he takes on Narnia:
I have now seen the movie. I was not expecting much, but I was expecting far better than what I found, which was a startlingly emaciated storyline, absolutely zero depth of narrative or character, three out of four completely unlikable children you wanted to shake and slap and hurl against a wall, embarrassingly bad line deliveries and wooden acting by everyone except the smallest child and the radiantly sexy Tilda Swinton (who proves for the billionth time that the villain/devil is always, always the coolest character in such tales), horrible pacing, and about two hundred incidental characters/creatures you're apparently supposed to care about but don't in the slightest because they have no range and almost no screen time and everything is rushed and nothing is explicated.

But what I realized afterward, sadly, was that, aside from brutal abridgment, the movie wasn't all that different from the books. I've since re-read a first few of Lewis' magical tales, and they are, in fact, exactly what I don't remember them being: startlingly simple, spare, linear narratives with surprisingly unsophisticated dialogue, with nothing really explained at any length and every scene sort of matter-of-fact only barely fleshed out, and the children, indeed, unlikable and annoying as only snooty little British kids can be.