Over the last few weeks, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe stirred up more hype and suspicion about Christianity's uncomfortable relationship with Hollywood than any film since Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ almost two years ago. And, like Peter Jackson's adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Narnia has raised concerns amongst fans of the book as to whether this would be a faithful adaptation. Thus, it's no surprise that both of these previous projects are being referenced in the reviews of director Andrew Adamson's film.
But is it a good film? Do Adamson's revisions to Lewis's story really matter? Is the film spectacular and groundbreaking, or merely workmanlike? Does the film speak to newcomers as powerfully as it does to those who already know the story? Is it overbearingly "Christian"?
Reviews in the mainstream or religious press are yielding many and varied opinions.
Made under the watchful eye of Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham, Adamson's movie is an enjoyable, symphonic, and delightful fantasy. Few disagree with that. It's a kaleidoscopic vision of fanciful and colorful creatures, fantastic landscapes, and laugh-out-loud surprises. Almost all critics are praising the performances of the actors, especially Georgie Henley, who fills young Lucy with tangible awe and wonder.
But when it comes to whether or not the film is a sufficient reflection of Lewis's beloved book, that's where critics differ.
"Everything is just as you imagined it, only better," raves Adam Tillman-Young (Relevant). "Old fans and newcomers alike are certain to be satisfied…"
Certain to be satisfied? Almost all of the other film reviewers in Christian publications are, to some extent, ...1
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