We saw The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Friday night with about 300 of our closest friends from our church and Levy and River City and Sylvan Hills churches. It was extraordinary. When Aslan was dragged to the table, you could have heard a pin drop … or my 9-year-old daughter sobbing quietly at the end of our row.
She wasn’t alone … just a little louder than the rest of us.
Someone commenting on Mike Cope’s blog about the movie said that it “worked” for her in a way that The Passion of the Christ did not.
I agree, and I humbly offer one man’s opinion why.
In the Narnia chronicle, we got to know Aslan … who he was; what he was like; what he stood for; how deeply he loved. Even without the book’s famous line “Of course he isn’t safe … but he’s good” before we met him, we came to understand its truth. We had a context in which Aslan’s selfless sacrifice made sense: a deep magic to prove; a timeless law to be upheld; a clear delineation between what makes good good and evil evil.
Like the Lord of the Rings epic, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe told a complete story of conquering evil by conquering self.
And we had a sense for the everlasting good that followed as a result of Aslan’s life being returned to him.
By concentrating almost completely on the final hours of Jesus, The Passion of the Christ (with tiny flashbacks to the last meal with His friends and a table-building moment with His mother) denied us a real opportunity to get to know the main character. There was no real context. We may have felt sorry for Him that He was so abused; or we may have admired His superhuman endurance and self-control but we were largely left to guess why.
We had only glimpses of who He was; what He was like; what He stood for – and most important, how deeply He loved.
We saw only that He was despised and rejected of men.
The Passion of the Christ was a trilogy story with no prequel and no sequel.
Just one man’s opinion.
10 thoughts on “One Man’s Opinion”
i remember reading the books when i was kid, thanks for the review!
I saw the movie yesterday with my family. The scene at the stone table disturbed my wife more than <>The Passion of the Christ<> and I think you’ve hit on why. My son, too, was sobbing through that part of the movie, though as quietly as he could.>>The movie worked on a number of different levels. I’m hoping the producers continue with the series: I’m really looking forward to a film version of my favorite of the Narnia stories <>The Voyage of the Dawn Treader<>.
I liked the movie as well, and thought perhaps one reason it worked is that it gave us a love and forgiveness we could relate to, that relationship we have with our siblings.
Keith, right after I saw “Passion”, I made the same observation also. I think you are dead on. People who didn’t know Jesus before the movie still didn’t know him after it…..except that he was killed in a horrendous manner. Maybe that motivated some to want to know Him better. I sure hope so.>But like you said, they for sure didn’t know how deeply he loved….and still does love. >>Can’t wait to see the whole Narnia series!>>DU
Narnia worked for me on SOOO many levels! My favorite scene was when Aslan stood back & let Peter fight his own battle. How many times have I questioned why God din’t show up & help me – I finally “got it” watching Aslan! Peter has to fight his own battle to build confidence & faith in himself & I knew that Aslan wouldn’t let him fight the wolves if he couldn’t do it. He had the tools (another great allegory about using your gifts) and Aslan was watching over him. I love God in a new way because I saw Him in a new way as Aslan! Incredibly powerful stuff & well done too!
1 more thing – I think ‘The Passion’, whlie an excellent movie, made me feel guilty & want to follow Jesus out of debt to Him. ‘Narnia’ made me fall in love with Aslan/Jesus & want to follow Him out of love & adoration. I’d fight for Aslan ANY day!
A blogging friend asked about taking his 5-year-old, and I responded:>>There were a LOT of children younger than mine at the screening we attended, and I didn’t see any signs of trauma. We didn’t take Laura to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and that was wise.>>But I’d feel confident to take a 5-year-old. He will think the swordplay is cool. When Edmond is wounded, he will realize that wounded people don’t jump up and fight again, but without being grossed out by bloody wounds.>>Possibly the most terrifying thing that happens is when Aslan roars (for the second time) at the witch Jadia before taking her down – and it is so welcome and so deserved that the fright is over in a moment.
I am SO bummed out that my stupid foot is broken (it’s just beyond me at this point in journey of the last 2 1/2 years) and that I’m on crutches for weeks and weeks and weeks and that Tom is so tied up with working six strenuous days and nights a week since the hurricane because it all means we are NOT (it sure looks like) going to be able to get to a theater to see the movie, but will have to wait for a DVD version.>>I’ve wanted to go see this movie so badly, and even more so now that I’ve been hearing all of the raving reviews about it. I’m elated it was so well made because C. S. Lewis certainly deserves that it be so.>>The way things are looking around here right now, I may have to wait for the “real thing”, perhaps, but you all have given me much hope and many wonderful things to look forward to.>>Thanks, Keith and everyone. Thanks.
I just saw it, and I liked it overall. The beavers were pretty cool. The symbolism was apparent, but not overdone. My only main complaint is how they portrayed Susan-she seemd a bit unlikable. Other than that, I really enjoyed it.
We took our 5 year old granddaughter to see Narnia along with her 5 year old cousin. They simply hid their faces in their coats when they thought it was going to be scary, which wasn’t much.>>I agree with the comments about Narnia vs Passion. After I saw Passion, I was so numb, that I came away with nothing as far as anything life changing was concerned.