Movie Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

This movie is an excellent adaptation of the children’s book by C. S. Lewis. It does take some liberties with the story, but all in all it is faithful to the book.

The movie begins with German warplanes bombing London during World War II and the Pevensie family hurrying to get into their bomb shelter, followed by the mother seeing the kids off at the train station the next day. None of this is in the book, but I suppose it is necessary to establish why the kids are out in the country.

Also, I don’t recall anything in the book about the wardrobe being covered with a white sheet when Lucy found it for the first time. But the camera shots of the sheet floating in the air as it falls to the ground make for a very impressive bit of cinematic art.

I loved the character of Lucy in this movie. I found it very easy to feel for her when she tried to tell her older siblings about Narnia and they did not believe her, and to be happy for her when they all wound up in Narnia and had no choice but to believe her. I couldn’t help wanting to be there to comfort her when she found Mr. Tumnus missing, and when she watched Aslan die at the Stone Table, and to rejoice with her when she saw Aslan return from the dead.

Tilda Swinton as the White Witch was not very convincing to me. She was beautiful, as one would expect the White Witch to be. Otherwise she would not have had any power to allure people into following her. But one would expect the White Witch’s beauty to be a seductive kind of beauty, and I did not see that. To me, she looked more like a young waif than an ice princess. I would have expected her o blow away in the cold wind, rather than to be the one whose power brought the cold to Narnia.

All in all, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is an excellent movie, and I can’t wait for the other Narnia books to come out as movies.