Last night David and I went on a date to see Indiana Jones. But it was sold out so we saw Prince Caspian instead. I am so glad we did. I haven't seen a movie that impressed me so much in a long time. And it wasn't just that I enjoyed it; I enjoy most movies, at least while I am watching them. I honestly felt that they made a movie better than the book it came from.
Of all the seven Narnia books, I've always liked Prince Caspian the least. It is boring and all the important things tend to happen "off screen." The movie corrected those faults and even added some plot twists that felt true to the spirit and intention of the book. For example; the tension between Peter and Caspian. This isn't in the book, but it it was natural to have two royal young men butt heads about the army and the directions things should go.
The movie also kept the spiritual side that is intrinsic in all C.S. Lewis books. And it stayed as an essential but not overwhelming part of the movie. Some movies are embarrassed by spirituality and some trumpet them with fireworks and 100 piece orchestras. The parts about belief, redemption and faith came naturally, as they do in real life.
Of course a movie with talking animals and centaurs isn't necessarily big on realism, but the important parts were real: how people think, feel and learn. David's big epiphany, that he realized the last time we read this with the kids, is that Prince Caspian tells the story of the Restoration. Which it does. C.S. Lewis would argue with you about that, but he was going from the Bible and we all know what it was predicting. So this wasn't just a movie that had cool battles and a beloved storyline, it made you feel and think and didn't pull any punches just because the good guys are always supposed to win.
It wasn't perfect. There were several really cheesy shots and one thing that even made David groan. But I feel like I liked it more than I would have Indiana Jones. In IJ I would have had a fun evening and enjoyed myself, with PC I grew just a little bit and learned more of what filmaking can be.