Differences you actually want

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Differences you actually want

Postby Skilletdude » Jan 14, 2014 10:11 pm

There are a few things I'd actually enjoy seeing differently from the book in the upcoming film. Before I go further, The Silver Chair has always been my favorite in the series, so this isn't a case of me trying to improve upon an already great story. I could just see certain elements of the story working better this way on the screen. Here goes.

-The entry into Narnia described in the book needs to be much more dramatic or changed altogether. By this point, audiences expect something exciting and creative when the kids first step into that world. Simply opening a door in a stone wall may not lend itself very well to film, and it would be too similar to LWW. The book mentions powerful sunlight pouring through once they open the door, but apart from that, I don't know what they could use to make it more interesting.

-During the Parliament of Owls, the flashback of Prince Rilian's fate should only be talked about, not physically shown. The most obvious reason for this is that it gives away his identity too soon which lessens the impact of his reveal in Underland. It would also avoid potential actor inconsistencies since you wouldn't need to show Lilliandil or Drinian. Lastly, it would speed up the pace of the movie and give mystery to the journey.

-Jill should be included in the fight against the witch in serpent form. In the book, she stands there trying not to faint or cry while the others attack. I think this is a disservice to her character arc, particularly when she develops into a very brave figure in LB. I think it's important to show her weaknesses and doubts leading up to this point, but I think she should be a bit stronger in the climax.

Any thoughts? Any changes or additions you'd like to see happen in the movie?
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Reepicheep775 » Jan 15, 2014 6:22 am

Skilletdude wrote:-Jill should be included in the fight against the witch in serpent form. In the book, she stands there trying not to faint or cry while the others attack. I think this is a disservice to her character arc, particularly when she develops into a very brave figure in LB. I think it's important to show her weaknesses and doubts leading up to this point, but I think she should be a bit stronger in the climax.

I agree with this one, and I have said the same thing before. I think it could be a good moment for showing Jill's growth as a character.

The entry to Narnia could be re-worked, but I'm far more worried about Eustace and Jill being blown down to Narnia by Aslan. If taken literally from the book, I think this scene would look ridiculous on film. I would completely understand if the film-makers re-imagined this scene.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby King_Erlian » Jan 15, 2014 6:30 am

If an actor who looks like Ben Barnes is cast as Rilian, then it may be a good idea to have his face "transformed" somehow while he is under the enchantment. Partly to get round the problem of giving away his identity if they do show his disappearance on screen, but mainly so that Eustace doesn't immediately say, "He looks just like Caspian did when he was young," which from Eustace's point of view was only a few weeks earlier, "so he must be the lost prince."
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby starkat » Jan 15, 2014 7:18 am

I think the best way to make the entrance into the mountain/Narnia isn't to change anything, but to make a very dramatic change in the color palatte. They already have the tension from the bullies chasing them. A switch from a duller, less intense palatte to something with incredibly rich and clear colors.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Impending Doom » Jan 15, 2014 7:36 am

- They should show a little bit of what Jill's life was like before she gets to Narnia. Why doesn't she trust anybody? What pushed her to that point? It would be a great way to show her character and it would make her scene with Aslan that much more powerful.

- The fight with the snake should be expanded on to give audiences a more satisfying climax.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jan 15, 2014 12:54 pm

A startling change in the color palette reminds me of Wizard of Oz, starkat. It was always very effective in that film, so I think it probably would work well in SC, too.

I'm not sure about possibilities for altering the opening scene altogether. I think expanding the chase with the bullies would be a good idea, and as well as showing what the bullies had done or said to reduce Jill to tears, just to give us a little more background on her character. I suppose you could also shift the scene from daytime to night (maybe Jill had been locked out of the dormitory?) to emphasize the shock of the sunlight. Nighttime could also lend well to the feeling of mystery and swapping-of-secrets when Eustace tells Jill about Narnia. Beyond that, I'll have to think about it.

I agree with it being better to keep Rilian's identity a secret, though I think you could potentially make use of the fact that Jill falls asleep during the Parliament of Owls and have her dream some of the images from the story of the prince's disappearance that we see described in the book. (Has anyone else ever experienced half-falling asleep when watching a movie, or listening to someone talking, and you start dreaming about whatever's going on in the real world?) The old owl that's telling the tale could still be narrating, since she's only half-asleep.

I'm thinking the dream part would consist of hazy flashes of scenes such as the maying and the prince searching for the viper (from a distance and without revealing his identity, obviously), as well as close-ups of the serpent biting the queen's wrist, the hand of the shining green woman beckoning the prince, et cetera—all strung together in a shifting, shuddering way that gives the whole thing that weird quality of being a very strange dream. It could end with Eustace shaking Jill awake when it's time to leave and go find Puddleglum.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Skilletdude » Jan 15, 2014 2:52 pm

Impending Doom wrote:- They should show a little bit of what Jill's life was like before she gets to Narnia. Why doesn't she trust anybody? What pushed her to that point? It would be a great way to show her character and it would make her scene with Aslan that much more powerful.


A very good idea, too. I could easily see the script including more bullying directed at Jill, as The Rose-Tree Dryad mentioned. Maybe they would be insulting her because of an unstable or perhaps abusive family. She gets defensive because she knows most of what they say is true. That could lead to her crying once she escapes them, and Eustace speaking to her about it.

I guess you could even include more references to it in the dream sequence when Aslan tells her she must remember the signs. Maybe she longs for the comforts of Harfang not only because of the hard journey they're all on, but also because she hasn't known much comfort in her life back home.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jan 16, 2014 12:11 pm

I like the idea of Jill longing for the comfort of Harfang because she'd had so little comfort in our world, Skilletdude. That makes a lot of sense, and really plays up the idea of Harfang being a temptation for her.

I've been rereading The Silver Chair, and something that occurred to me this morning was if they should even mention the "shining green woman" in the old owl's story at all. Perhaps leave out Drinian's role in it altogether, and finish it by saying that no trace had ever been found of Prince Rilian, nor his horse, et cetera.

The reason I say this is that it seems like it might be too easy for audiences to guess who She of the Green Kirtle and the silent knight are when Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum meet them on their journey. Even if we know nothing about what she looks like, the mere fact that it's a man and a woman draws a connection to the story of Rilian and the lady that entranced him.

One other thought I had while reading was if the knight in black armor could be utilized more before the trio descends into the Underland—he's such a creepy character, and I really love Puddleglum's ideas about him being just a skeleton or nothing at all beneath the armor. Maybe show him trying to impede the journey in some way, unbeknownst to Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum? (Perhaps he could have had something to do with the deluge of stones when the trio are walking by the gorge?) Even just showing him watching them could be good for cultivating a creepy atmosphere.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Adeona » Jan 16, 2014 1:40 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:I suppose you could also shift the scene from daytime to night (maybe Jill had been locked out of the dormitory?) to emphasize the shock of the sunlight. Nighttime could also lend well to the feeling of mystery and swapping-of-secrets when Eustace tells Jill about Narnia.

I like this idea quite a bit! Such a sharp transition would be a great way to emphasize the total paradigm shift from England to Narnia.
I also like your ideas of Jill dreaming Rilian's disappearance and expanding on the Black Knight's presence.

A smaller change which I am looking forward to would be seeing Jill and Eustace in Narnian clothes during the adventure, rather than their school uniforms. They could still change into the clothes provided by the giants later on, but I really want to see lovely costumes for the journey north.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Impending Doom » Jan 16, 2014 3:53 pm

Adeona wrote: A smaller change which I am looking forward to would be seeing Jill and Eustace in Narnian clothes during the adventure, rather than their school uniforms. They could still change into the clothes provided by the giants later on, but I really want to see lovely costumes for the journey north.


In the book, the children receive clothes at Cair Paravel so you needn't worry about that. :D But I am also looking forward to the costumes!
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jan 16, 2014 4:10 pm

Impending Doom wrote:In the book, the children receive clothes at Cair Paravel so you needn't worry about that. :D But I am also looking forward to the costumes!


Well, they do receive Narnian clothes at Cair Paravel, but—and I remember this because I literally just read this scene in the book ;))—Jill changes back into her school clothes (sweater and shorts) when the Glimfeather comes to take her to the Parliament of Owls.

I thought of the same thing, Adeona, when I read that bit. Not only are Narnian clothes ten times nicer, but the idea of Eustace and Jill wearing shorts when they are trudging through all that wind and snow makes me shiver!
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby King_Erlian » Jan 17, 2014 2:26 am

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:I suppose you could also shift the scene from daytime to night (maybe Jill had been locked out of the dormitory?) to emphasize the shock of the sunlight.

I've wittered on about this at length on other threads, but if Experiment House is depicted in the film as it is in the book, then it's unlikely to be a boarding school. Boarding schools in the UK in the '40s and '50s tended to be very conservative in their approach to education (and also tended to be single-sex schools), unlike the "progressive" approach of Experiment House. But the nature of the school isn't crucial to the story, only the fact that Jill and Eustace were being bullied, and bullying happens at all kinds of schools.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jan 17, 2014 3:00 am

I have to agree from the POV of someone who grew up in an educational system which mirrored the British one. The boarding school I attended in the 1950's was also in existence both before & after WW2, and the boys and girls were rigorously kept apart.

I think you are right that it was a day school.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Reepicheep775 » Jan 17, 2014 11:31 am

^ I had always assumed that Experiment House was a boarding school. Part of what made Experiment House seem so horrible was the idea that you couldn't come home at night. You were stuck there. Maybe that isn't what Lewis intended, but that's the sense I got. It may be more historically accurate to make Experiment House a day school, but honestly I'd rather it be a boarding school for the reason above.

I like the idea of expanding the role of Rilian when he's wearing the black armour simply because I love knights.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby DamselJillPole » Jan 17, 2014 3:52 pm

I have always though of a different entry that they can show on film when Jill and Eustace walk into Aslan's Country. I've always imagined the room tht they open to be pitch dark and a light, kind of like a tunnel of light hitting them in the face and they walk out of a large hollow tree into the world. IDK.

I have to disagree with the second. I do want to see a back story of Rilian. Maybe get someone younger to portray Rilian or like someone else said they can make Rilian look different under his enchantment.

The last one I agree completely. I want to see Jill transform into the person that she becomes in Last Battle. I want to see her fight.

I'll probably get flack for this however I do want to see an underworld battle. *Hides from rotten fruit that might be thrown at me* But I really do for quite a while now.

I also want to see when Caspian ends up in Aslan's Country to see Liliandil with him and possibly Reepicheep too.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jan 17, 2014 8:04 pm

Thanks for the info, King_Erlian and waggawerewolf27—I'm in the United States and I'm afraid reading Harry Potter has forever skewed my perception of what boarding school is like in the UK. ;))

I agree with Reepicheep775 on Experiment House seeming especially terrible as a boarding school because of not being able to leave it. In a way, that would make Eustace and Jill's escape into Narnia all the more meaningful for them.

If Experiment House is a day school, though, I wonder if we'll get any glimpse of Jill's home life? As far as I can remember, Jill never mentions her parents and the story never even alludes to them, which I believe has given some people cause to speculate that Jill might be an orphan, or abandoned for that matter.

Seeing how the filmmakers present Jill as a character, and what they do with her background, is probably one of the aspects of the upcoming film that I'm most curious about.

I don't think I'd mind very much if they expanded the skirmish with the serpent, DamselJillPole—it's over awfully quickly in the book. They could potentially use the Earthmen as well, magically summoned by the Lady of the Green Kirtle to come to her aid. I really wouldn't expect Hollywood not to expand it to some degree, but if they turn it into a thirty minutes-long fighting spectacular, I will not be very happy. :P
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