What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

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What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

Postby Stylteralmaldo » Sep 23, 2017 5:57 am

Just got through re-reading chapter 16 of LWW. It dawns on me that the movie totally missed the pure joy of being released from the devastating magic of being a stone statue. When watching the movie, the impression I got from those cured by Aslan is one of 'relief' rather than 'joy'.

In the book, there was all kinds of dancing and following Aslan around in a joyful manner. And this response is very appropriate considering what had happened to them. Sure, they were in a hurry as there was a battle taking place elsewhere with the White Witch. However, it is also clear from the chapter that while all this joyful dancing was going on, there was diligent searching for others who may have been trapped within the witch's realm.

Thoughts?
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Re: What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

Postby narnia fan 7 » Sep 23, 2017 7:51 am

I think the reason the reaction from the revived statues was cut in the film, was manly because of it's place in the story. In the book you know s battle is happening, but the focus stays on what Aslan and the girls are doing, there isn't really a huge sense of urgency.

In the film we see that the battle is happening and cut back and forth between it and Aslan and the girls. I can understand why the filmmakers did what they did. Going from a battle to the revived Narnians joyously dancing around Aslan might have been a tonal clash. Maybe it's just one of the necessary change when adapting a book to film, I don't know. I wish more of that chapter had been left in the film.
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Re: What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

Postby Glumpuddle » Sep 25, 2017 12:59 pm

Huge cut. 99% of chapter 16 was completely thrown away. Dramatically changed the feel of the ending.

Read FK's opinion piece on this issue: http://www.narniaweb.com/2017/07/opinio ... something/
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Re: What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

Postby Stylteralmaldo » Sep 26, 2017 4:56 am

Thanks for the link glum.

I wonder if the movie-makers are merely reflecting our overall society (more fighting and less loving) or if the movie-makers are pushing the narrative despite what's truly good that's already out there.
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Re: What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

Postby Glumpuddle » Sep 26, 2017 2:37 pm

The scene where the statues are being restored only works of the audience is emotionally invested in the story. There isn't really a conflict, it's just pure joy. So, that's a challenge for any story. Lewis pulls it off.

It's much easier (lazy) to do an epic battle scene with action and excitement. Invested or not, it provides seem easy thrills.

I think the decision to expand the battle and throw out all the joy of restoring the statues shows a lack of confidence in the story and characters. And a lack of creative vision: The LotR movies end on epic battles, so they just assumed Narnia had to as well.

http://www.narniaweb.com/2017/07/would- ... ng-beasts/
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Re: What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

Postby Stylteralmaldo » Sep 27, 2017 11:00 am

Glumpuddle wrote:...The LotR movies end on epic battles, so they just assumed Narnia had to as well....


Yet LofR did *not* miss out on the joy aspect. Between epic battles, joy was interwoven through the sadness.....when it was appropriate to do so.
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Re: What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

Postby Glumpuddle » Sep 28, 2017 5:37 pm

Stylteralmaldo wrote:Between epic battles, joy was interwoven through the sadness.....when it was appropriate to do so.


Exactly. Everything was story-driven. With Narnia, I suspect, they decided to have an epic battle before they thought about if that was right for the story. I'm sure the big pitch from the beginning was "It's gonna be like LotR, but PG!"
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Re: What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

Postby Reepicheep775 » Sep 28, 2017 7:02 pm

I'm a little torn on this simply because the Battle of Beruna in LWW is one of my favourite movie battles of all time, so I am glad we got it. And, in a way, it is very Narnian. It brings to mind the line in VDT (the book) about "forlorn hopes, death-or-glory-charges, and last stands".

But at the same time, as an adaptation, the urgency created by the focus on the battle was detrimental to the scene where Aslan wakes up the statues for the reasons that narnia fan 7 said.
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Re: What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

Postby daughter of the King » Sep 28, 2017 8:01 pm

According to the official movie companion, the thing Adamson remembered the most from when he read LWW as a kid was an epic battle with fantasy creatures. And when he signed on to direct he wanted to capture the vision of his childhood imagination. This has often made me wonder if the decision to dedicate so much screen time to the battle was actually a creative story decision rather than a desire to be the kiddie version of LotR. Of course, both could be true.

Either way, the end result is the awakening of the statues does seem to be more of an afterthought than anything else. I think it might have worked better if Tumnus was one of the last statues awakened in the movie. That way, you get the joy of everyone waking up, but also build up some tension and anticipation while Lucy searches for Tumnus.
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Re: What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

Postby Glumpuddle » Sep 29, 2017 7:10 am

I recently watched a great example of a movie that wasn't afraid to end on pure awe and joy: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), which was back on the big screen a couple weeks ago. Mild spoilers: At the end, no one dies, there's no action, and not much sense of any threat or conflict. Just pure awe at the opportunity to interact with beings from another world. I have mixed feelings about the first two acts, but that ending is just breath-taking beautiful cinema.

I wish more movies, especially Narnia, had the courage to do that.



daughter of the King wrote:According to the official movie companion, the thing Adamson remembered the most from when he read LWW as a kid was an epic battle with fantasy creatures.


I don't doubt that, but I still wonder how much the success of LotR influenced that memory... Combine that with the series being greenlit solely because of the success of LotR, and I'm sure there was zero resistance to the idea of expanding the battle.

Since LWW generally plays it so safe throughout the entire movie, it's hard for me not to look at it the same way Apted talked about VDT. He literally said "All great adventure stories have to have a villain" to justify adding the green mist.

For the record, I don't hate LWW. It's a fairly well-made movie. It's just frustrating to see it play everything so safe when the source material is so bold and unique.
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Re: What happened about the statues (LWW movie vs book)

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 01, 2017 12:28 pm

As much as I love the mustering element of the last half of "What Happened About the Statues" and the feeling when all of the reinforcements arrive at the end of the battle, I wonder if it wouldn't have been better for the filmmakers to move the awakening of the statues to after the battle's end. If having a change in tone was non-negotiable because of the eminence of the battle scenes (at least from the perspective of the filmmakers), then I think this would have been preferable to the tearjerker scene we ended up with. Maybe have Aslan approach a statue on the battlefield as Lucy is healing the wounded, then transition to the Witch's courtyard. I think the joy of that scene could have also worked well leading to the more "solemn" joy of the coronation that follows.
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