Seeing Christ in Caspian

I just got back from watching Prince Caspian at the theater, after having completed reading the book the night before with my husband.  We sat up late finishing reading it out loud to each other.  

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.


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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Aww…I love that you two read the book out loud together. Our family has read the series out loud too; it reads aloud so beautifully.
    Now if I can only get my GI doc to show up and get me outta here, maybe I can go see the movie too. I am doing better today. Thank you for your prayers, I really needed them the last few days.
    AL: Praying you get to go home pronto. Been missing my regular Tiggy updates.

  2. I also saw the movie this weekend :o).

    BUT — one thing I did not appreciate was the romance angle… I was a little irritated with that.

    I am very thankful that they kept Aslan’s and Lucy’s interacts similar to the book.

    AL: I know what you mean. But, it did make Susan a lot more interesting. Personally, I didn’t think she had a lot going for her otherwise (in the book…yes, I just dared critique C.S. Lewis *gasp*). Yes, I’m shallow and a sucker for romance. I had an easier time with the romance than turning her into Zena warrior princess or Legolas.

  3. I wasn’t as happy with the movie as you. Feel free to come to my blog and read my review. Maybe you can set me straight.

    I felt that the Christian meaning of the story was obscured in the movie.

    AL: Renaissance Guy, you had some great things to say about the film. I especially liked this point: “In addition, the characters just do their own thing and don’t work together much or discuss their problems to determine cooperative solutions, which definitely departs from the story Lewis wrote. Instead of working out their problems, the characters spend a lot of time glaring at each other or simply staring. They also spend a lot of time sulking and brooding.”

    I think my goal here was to go against the general flow of the reviews from the Christian world which are overwhelmingly negative and focused on the differences between the book and the movie. There are ways that we can see Christ in the movie, sure not as many as in the book, but I’m rejoicing in the fact that Christ is there at all. Maybe I’m just a bit more cynical about what to expect from hollywood. I set my expectations lower, and when there’s anything positive with a Christian perspective, I like to point it out, instead of tearing the entire enterprise as a whole down. But, I can also understand why people who make their living doing reviews for places like Christianity today would want to do the tearing down thing. I just don’t agree that it’s the most constructive way to handle it for speaking to the world we live in.

  4. […] Amy Letinsky thought that Christ was very apparent in the movie.  She focused on three main points:  We should act in Jesus’ strength instead of our own, we should follow Jesus even when it’s not popular, and the longer one walks with Jesus the bigger He gets.  She put a very positive slant on her review because she had read some negative reviews concerning the weaking of the Christian message in the film. […]

  5. too bad they cut out some of that part where Aslan confronts Lucy about trusting her convictions, but i guess they had to make it appealing to the masses… great observations on your review tho!

    AL: There were some cuts that certainly could have been included in the movie to make the message a bit more evident. That was one of them. Thanks for sharing.

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