In this third adaptation of C. S. Lewis’ prose (and perhaps the most popular book among Narnia fans) Lucy, Edmond and the reluctant Eustace are transported to Narnia through a forgotten painting of a galleon among the waves.
Suddenly the painting comes to life, pouring water into the room and transporting them to the Eastern Sea in Narnia beside the Dawn Treader, where Prince Caspian and his crew pluck them from the water.
The trio soon learn the reason for Caspian’s voyage east: He is fulfilling an oath to find the seven lost swords of the Lords of Telmar, the best friends of his murdered father.
Their journey takes them to a series of islands, each of which brings the ship’s crew unexpected peril and adventure, and each has its own hidden, seductive secret.
The film contains a clear journey to maturity for the Pevensie children. Much store is placed in the notion that veering off the task (vanquishing evil in Narnia) will enable temptation and fears to take hold.
These films are nothing if not faithful to their source material and, while there have been certain adjustments made to the story, when Aslan explains to the children that in their world he will have another name (“You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”) you know the spirit of the book is indeed intact.
(First published in Insights magazine)