This week-end I watched the movie The Voyage of the Dawn Treader which is adapted from the third book in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicle of Narnia series. I was disappointed, even though I think the producers and screenwriters were faithful to the story. Since Lewis’ story is episodic, a string of small encounters, the movie tries to tie the episodes all together by introducing an “evil mist” that must be destroyed.
I struggled with the “evil mist” because for C. S. Lewis, evil was not some nameless vague mist, but actual angelic powers and individuals. Satan and his minions are accountable to God. There was no central person/being/intelligence in the movie’s mist to be held responsible. It was some vague power invading Narnian space, like an environmental contagion.
My real disappointment was the transformation of Eustace Scrubb. In the book this is a pivotal moment when Aslan the Lion encountered Eustace as the dragon. First Eustace tried to cut away the dragon skin and failed after several attempts. Only after the failure did Aslan release him out with one lash of his claw. Finally the restored Eustace is cleansed in the pool of water. The whole scene is a powerful description of baptism. The movie’s version did not fulfill my expectations for the scene and my baptismal perspective. Plus it came so late in the movie, we are unable to witness any transformation in the Eustace’s human character.
Still I enjoyed how the movie captured much of the joy, wonder and strangeness of Narnia. The character development in Edmund, Lucy, Caspian and Eustice was worth seeing as were the majestic sea scenes. It made me want to get my father’s tiny sail boat out and brave the waves of the Puget Sound. But that is a different post.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4
How has a movie or story helped you understand a Christian concept or doctrine?
Lord Jesus, thank you for being my savior and rescuing me from sin and death.