My youngest brother and I traded a night of sleep for the first opportunity to see the new Narnia movie. I don’t regret it.
No, it is not as good as the book, but that is in part to do with genre and interpretation, not with actual quality. They hit the nail on the head with the adjustment the children had to make returning to Narnia and finding it a wholly different world than when they left.
Plus, it’s Narnia. You do not want to leave. The parting is made a bit easier by spending the last minutes of the movie saying goodbye with the children and stepping through the doorway from Narnia into the English tube station. Yet we all wanted to stay. None of us could.
For me, the most powerful moment of the film was unexpected and early: when the four children stepped onto the beach near the ruins of Cair Paravel and the haunting strains of music from the first film began to play.
The disbelief and joy on the Pevensie’s faces as they realized they were back and began running down the beach, laughing and playing…the bittersweet beauty of the music…I actually cried–and I am not one to cry over a mere sentimental moment.
This was beautiful. Not because of the beach or the literal melody being played. More than that, it spoke deep in my heart and roused the desire implanted in every believer’s heart to be Home.
As Lewis writes, “The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing to find the place where all the beauty came from.” Narnia gives us glimpses of the beauty and stirs up our hunger for its source. We all want to be Home.
Sometimes the homesickness and loneliness for the place we know we belong can be unbearable. Any success through the arts in keeping that desire burning bright within us deserves recognition.