The Chaos

The Chaos

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Reviewing the "Dawn Treader"

The Chronicles of Narnia are some of the most richly religious movies of our time with spiritual significance and symbolism throughout all three films. The cinematic fantasies are based on the widely popular novels written by noted Christian theologian, Clive Staples Lewis. They are a wondrous woven tapestry of faith, fantasy, and fun with characters that capture your heart and adventures that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I am a fan of Narnia.
I wish I could travel to Narnia. But since I have yet to find my own magic wardrobe, I will have to settle for the movie and book editions.

Last night we took our kids and the youth group to see the latest installment of the Chronicles, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader". I must admit that I have never read the books all the way through and so I was not sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised and enthralled the entire time. As was Dean Kelly, who sat quietly in my lap gasping and sighing at the various clips of adventure. The story was unique and jam packed with Christian concepts and symbols. I was moved and motivated.

The movie jumps right into the storyline where we find Lucy and Edward Pevensie living with their uncle, aunt, and their obnoxious cousin Eustace. It doesn't take long for Narnia to call them home where they end up in a vast ocean, saved by the crew of the new King Caspian. They learn that Narnia is under attack by a mysterious evil that lurks on an island in the Eastern Ocean. Caspian is keen on history and reveals that many years ago seven lords travelled the country attempting to explore what lies beyond and had never returned. In order to set right all the wrong that was growing in Narnia they would need to find the Lords and their seven swords and place them on the Table of Aslan.

As the movie grew more and more intense, the similarities between the evil on the island and the sin in our own world grew more and more obvious. We live in a world where often times evil goes unnoticed until it is almost too late. We allow ourselves to succumb to temptations and evil desires and our lives become permeated with the green mist that we see travelling through the lands of Narnia. As Christians, we possess the Power necessary to defeat it as we see in little Lucy watching her defeat her own sinful thoughts through the aid of her faith and belief in Aslan. All Christians have the ability to use their gifts, whatever they may be for the Lord's service. This is something that the once arrogant Eustace learns by movie's end. Aslan heals and restores Eustace to himself while giving him the strength and courage to save a world in need.

The symbolism is so rich that it literally is hard to capture it all. But I couldn't help but be moved to tears when Aslan appears at the end of the movie. Aslan is the Lewis representation of Christ and His gentle love and guidance to the kings and queens of Narnia reminds me of the way my Savior loves and guides me through my own sometimes fantastical world.

The movie ends with all three children face to face with the Great Lion. I kept wondering where Peter and Susan were and when they would make their grand appearance. I had forgotten in the last film, "Prince Caspian", it was revealed that they had made their last trip to Narnia, as they would be too old to return. We learn the same is now true for Edward and Lucy as well. But Eustace, perhaps, has another adventure awaiting him in the land.

What is so beautiful about this symbolism is that throughout scripture we are reminded of the faith that rests with the innocent. Children are so much more accepting of God and the supernatural because they don't doubt or mistrust. Lucy and Edward would no longer be able to visit with Aslan in Narnia but instead could speak to Him in their world where He goes by a different name. He doesn't say "God" or "Jesus" but the revelation is true and significant.

The entire movie is full of teachable moments. The adventure is suspenseful, the story is strong and pure, and the beauty of faith is remarkably captured. This movie, like the two before it, are excellent depictions of faith in action and are beautifully told stories of salvation and grace.

I highly recommend it to all families and groups.
Go see for yourself, and tell me what you think.

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