There are plenty of reviews out there, good ones, and I won’t try to repeat what’s already being said about the movie. I will say that yes, it’s not exactly true to the book, but I’m not a purist in the book to movie realm, since I realize that they’re different genres and need some tweaking to work on the silver screen.
Several reviewers are critiquing the film for removing the Christian elements, or hiding them too much from being evident, thus distorting Lewis’ message in the books. Perhaps this is true, but I’d like to draw out some of the remaining Christian themes, at least the ones that are speaking to me, even after I’ve left the theater.
- Rely on Jesus’ strength, not just your own
Many battles are waged in the film, more than are written in the book, and a clear theme emerges: when you use Aslan’s strength, you win the fight. But when you rely on your own cleverness and strength alone, you’re destined to fail.
- Follow Jesus, even when it’s not popular
This theme emerges on several levels, from the underdog Narnians who hold out for Aslan, even though he’s been gone for 1300 years, to the faithful Lucy, who follows Aslan, despite everyone else’s doubts. Aslan rewards his faithful, and Jesus will reward his persecuted, unpopular, faithful children as well.
- The longer you walk with Jesus, the bigger he gets
I love this line from the book, which thankfully stayed in the movie. Lucy exclaims that Aslan is larger than before, and Aslan tells her that as she gets older, he will seem bigger. This is true for us as well. The longer we have a relationship with Jesus, the more wondrous he becomes. We understand him more, and we grasp a little more of his greatness. It reminds me of the old saying about church steeples and what they represent. Just like a steeple gets pointer as it climbs toward heaven, so we Christians get smaller, the closer we get to God. I think the Aslan comment partly reflects the fact that we recognize that Jesus gets bigger but also that we grow a little smaller, more humble as we know him more.