Monday, January 09, 2006

Now that my family has seen it, I can finally discuss Wardrobe in slightly more detail. Perhaps not much more detail, since I don't know how much of the detail with which I could discuss it is blogworthy. What is blogworthy, I think, is my favorite part of the film: the way people react to the Pevensies. It starts with Mrs. Beaver, who sees four children from Finchley and reacts like she's seen four nobles from Camelot. It moves to the fox, who treats them like royalty without a second thought. And then to Father Christmas, whom the children ought to be in awe of but who is in awe of them. And then Aslan's army, and finally Oreius - when Peter asks him, "Are you with me?" he says, "To the death" in a tone of voice that says of course I am. Where else would I be?

There is more going on here then Narnians believing in a prophecy or believing in what these kids can do. This is Narnians seeing who these kids are. When Edmund says, "Aslan believed you could - and so do I," he isn't saying, "Aslan and I think the odds are good you can pull this off." He's saying, "Aslan knows who you are better than you know yourself, and I'm starting to see as he does." My favorite scene in this movie is when the children are walking through Aslan's camp, past fauns and centaurs and leopards and all manner of warlike creatures, and as they pass the army hushes and looks at them. "Why are they all staring at us?" Susan asks. Not because they think the children look funny. Not because their future monarchs are passing. Because their monarchs are passing.

This theme of seeing people as they really are - seeing with the Father's eyes, to use Amy Grant's phrase - is for me one of the most inspiring parts of Christendom. It is a theme that Lewis clearly found inspiring as well (and I am not thinking of the Chronicles now, but his nonfiction works). It is true, as the Duelist said, that Peter looks ridiculous for virtually the entire movie. He's supposed to. Not only are we being shown that he, like us, is more than he has become (to use Mufasa's phrase). We are being invited to see Peter, and all the children, with different eyes. We too look ridiculous - but if you or I met Alaen Kerona or Kekrones Mikhail or any of the other warlike asil and asked them, "Are you with me?" they would respond with the same puzzled look as Oreius did - "To the death." (I don't know if angels can die, but asil can. You get the metaphor).

Following that, a few brief updates about New Year's. The New Year's Eve Ball was enjoyable, although not quite what I was expecting. I got a several good dances out of it, though, and a nifty new vest (too bad Serenity came out before I got the vest - oh well). Unexpected pleasure of the evening: dancing with White Jade, who apparently now lives in Tennessee studying to be a vetrinarian (that explains why I haven't seen her around).

It was good to see Esther Selene again - not just fun (which it was), but good. Even if I didn't get to dance with her. That's okay, though, because I got to worship with her instead. That always was my favorite activity to do with her, even more than dancing.

The highlight of New Year's, though, was seeing Peter Pan all by myself in my new favorite movie-viewing location. Peter Pan (the 2003 version, now) probably goes up on my video shelf along with Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and Moulin Rouge in the Romantic and Inspiring Movies category. There's so much in that film about growing up and manhood and love and romance, it just thrills me (and makes me cry - I was crying for a third to half of the movie). There are many good lines from that movie, but here is one that I had not noticed before. Wendy is speaking to Hook about why Peter brought her to Neverland:

Wendy: He liked my stories.
Hook: What stories?
Wendy: Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty.
Hook: (confused) Love stories?
Wendy: Adventures! In which good triumphs over evil!

Tell it like it is, Wendy. Tell it like it is.

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