Monday, December 12, 2005

Pure Narnsense

So on Friday night I saw the Narnia movie, or as I call it, TCON:TLTWATW.  It’s a fairly bland but ultimately passable piece of entertainment. Assuming that Peter Jackson never gets to make his movie of The Hobbit I would show TCON: TLTWATW to my kids when they are 4 as a fantasy primer for when I eventually show them the LOTR Trilogy.

I really wasn’t that bothered by the Christian allegory aspect of the film.  As Jeff pointed out, it’s all so muddled that none of it makes very much sense.  Sure, Asland dies for the sins of a human and is then magically resurrected, but he admits that it was all basically a big trick.  “Yeah, the rules say that if someone willingly sacrifices themselves for another, then they get to come back to life.  Those are the rules.  The magic rules.  The White Witch didn’t know that.  I did.  I totally punk’d her.”  I’m not religious, but it seems to me that the story of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection loses some of its meaning if Christ knows ahead of time that he’s going to come back.

Also, I don’t think Jesus would goad a young boy into killing his enemies with a sword.  My limited knowledge of The Bible leads me to believe that Jesus had a totally different take on that subject.

That being said, there were some things in Narnia that bothered me.  Most notably the character of Mr. Tumnus.  My single thought every time Mr. Tumnus was on screen:  “Uh, dude, can a shirt on?”

It's not so weird when you’re only reading about a hairy, bare-chested little man having tea with a five-year-old girl.  Actually seeing it kind of skeeved me out.

Something I do want to see: A buddy cop movie set in Narnia and starring Centaur and Rhino.


Frank said...

As I pointed out to Jeff, in almost every Biblical interpretation of at least the past 1500 years, Christ, like Aslan, DOES know he's coming back from the dead. Because he's God, remember? And he knows everything? Also, even in terms of Gospel specifics, he's able to accurately predict all the details of his death and its aftermath. Remember how he knows Judas is going to betray him, and the Apostles abandon him, and Peter deny him, etc., etc.? So Jeff isn't so much pointing out a narrative flaw in TCON; he's pointing out a narrative flaw in the New Testament.

That said, yeah, the author-acknowledged Jesus analog frequently encouraging children to murder, leading troops into battle, and establishing a monarchic government is totally offensive to Christians. I wish that's the kind of thing more Christians got offended by. But as we see time and time again, most Christians, like most of the rest of us, are dupes.

Sorry. For some reason I've feeling a kind of P.T. Barnam Grifter's Cynicism today.

I will definitely NOT be screening TLTWATW for my own brood (though I wouldn't outright PREVENT them from seeing it, if they're hanging out at your house or something). But I might read the novels to them.

Paul said...

Is establishing a monarchic government offensive to Christians? Isn't that what Christ is supposed to do after he returns to earth and triumphs over Satan? His coming thousand year reign of peace on earth is often reffered to as "The Kingdom Age". It's a monarchic government that Christians literally pray for: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

The other day I actually heard a Christian talk radio host joyfully claim that Christ's rule on earth would be a "perfect dictatorship". Quotes because those were his actual, real words.

So I think Christians are down for the whole monarchy thing, provided that Jesus is at the helm.

Jeff said...

Yeah, but he leaves those four doofy-looking kids at the helm! Because humans know best.

My New Testament is hazy. Does Jesus tell his apostles he's coming back? I'd go rifle through a Bible, but they are in alarmingly short supply here in the office.

I like how almost every line Mr. Tumnus says has a creepy, pedophilic, double-entendre. "You shouldn't be here. I shouldn't be doing this." Maybe I don't so much like it as acknowledge its presence.