I finally caught "Prince Caspian" the other night. I was surprised at how much fun I had watching it.
- I liked the opening of the film and the progression of the opening titles over scenes of Caspian's escape from the castle.
- I liked the Reepicheep-point-of-view invasion of Miraz' castle.
- I enjoyed the high film-speed effect on some of the battle scenes, and how raw and energetic the combat between Miraz and Peter was.
- I was very surprised by how interesting Miraz was. I loved the scene where he was pressed by Edmund, and by his own council, into one-on-one combat with Peter. I loved that Miraz (most of the time) wasn't overplayed or underplayed - he seemed to have just the right amount of animation to seem corrupt and ambitious without becoming a simple caricature (certain sneering, Lord of the Rings villains come to mind).
The 4 Pevensie children intersect with Caspian much earlier in the film than they do in the book, which brings about some interesting conflicts within characters. There is the romantic attraction btw. Susan and Caspian. And the absence of Aslan has a different effect on the characters as they discuss their choices. There is a pronounced rivalry between Peter and Prince Caspian that, strangely, never seemed to sway the loyalties of the Narnians as I would expect it to. In the book, Lewis does away with any conflict between Peter and Caspian with a single line from Peter: "I haven't come to take your place, you know, but to put you into it." (p.184)
I saw this film for the second time recently. What a delight it remains! The rural Newfoundland setting is sparse, and yet the script moves quickly from one social encounter to the next, each new scene revealing more about these characters and their desires, their anguish, their capacity for childlike joy.
The chemistry between the three main characters is so unlikely and so delightful that it is pointless to analyze beyond the obvious forms of emptiness that draw them together. So, one at a time:
Peter Dinklage as Finn gives a stunning performance that ranges from shy vulnerability, to rage, to patient endurance. He is an astonishing, smart actor.
Bobby Cannavale, the Cuban American, Joe, almost steals every scene he is in. His unfiltered energy and his desperate extroversion is both shocking and delightful. Almost steals. I was too busy watching Finn and Olivia's responses to Joe since those responses were equally fascinating.
And Patricia Clarkson gives a slightly veiled but rich performance as Olivia that begins with moments of hilarious clumsiness but slowly grows to reveals a deep woundedness under the surface.
The film carries potentially heavy material with amazing
light-handedness, and yet the deeper themes manage to resonate. It is light-hearted without treating its characters lightly. It is light-hearted and heartening at the same time.
Square Peg In The Round Hole
Reviewed by Penny for The Station Agent at 2008-03-19 12:17:02
Thoroughly enjoyed the screenwriting, sets & performances of The Station Agent. The story is one of friendship & acceptance. Haven't we all felt like a square peg in a round hole at some point in our lives? Reccomend to all who enjoy independent films, and art theatres.