Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Narnia is one of the movies I really want to see this movie season. I loved the books growing up and I watched the cartoon movie probably a thousand times as a kid. Even though it's been years since I've read or seen it, I was excited about the movie, which promises amazing eye candy as well.

Then I stumble upon this review. Make no mistake, the author loved the movie. But he loved it for the wrong reasons. Now, granted, just because one person gets something out of a movie, doesn't mean another person has to take the same message from it. But. Still. To call what sounds like overtly sexist overtones, "empowerment"? Either this author lives in a different reality, or the director was unable to eradicate the sexism from the story. I don't fault the director, or even C.S. Lewis. Lewis lived in a different time and, like most Christians in that day and age (hell, like plenty of them now), had some strange ideas about women. He also has a cult following to rival Tolkien's, so the director didn't have too much freedom to play fast and loose with the story. The fact that the author of this review bemoans that fact that the director removed a shockingly sexist line, well, it just shows where he stands.

And here's the crazy thing: I don't particularly have these memories of the books being sexist. Granted, that's probably because I read them before I hit the double digits, but my memories of the book were fond and free of political agendizing. This reviewer has now taken it upon himself to attribute a political agenda to Lewis (I don't have the information to say if this is a fair treatment of the work) and point out how the movie furthers his own agenda. Maybe he's misinterpreting, or maybe he's just spoiling the movie for me. But now I'm bummed because he's cast a pall over a movie I was really looking forward to seeing. I can try to keep an open mind, but my feminist-spidey-sense is all tingly now. Thanks to this reviewer, I'm now feeling hypersensitive about whatever the movie may or may not have to say about gender politics. I would just like to take the opportunity to point out to the anti-feminist naysayers that it was an anti-feminist conservative who got the ball rolling on this issue. It wasn't a feminist attacking Lewis or his works out of the blue. Just so I'm not accused of making a mountain out of a molehill.

I still want to see the movie, and I'm sure it's very good. But this dude has just dampened my enthusiasm. Thanks a lot, R. Andrew Newman. PLEASE tell me you don't have daughters.

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At December 29, 2005 at 10:51 AM, Blogger CM said...

I felt the same way the first time I heard the books were overtly Christian -- you mean I was supposed to learn morals from them? I'm glad I didn't realize that when I first read them.

At December 29, 2005 at 11:06 AM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

Hahahaha -- I got the whole Christian thing when I was younger. That never bothered me, since I'm Christian, but I can see how it could ruin it for someone who isn't. But I hate it when people spoil stuff like that! Like, "wait, you mean that means x?" Completely ruins stuff.


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