The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

May 20, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Ben Barnes, Sergio Castellitto, Georgie Henley
Directed by: Andrew Adamson (“Shrek 2”)
Written by: Andrew Adamson (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”), Christopher Markus (“The Life and Death of Peter Sellers”), Stephen McFeely (“You Kill Me”)

When humans rule the world of Narnia and fantastic creatures liked fauns, centaurs, and talking animals take a backseat to the man versus man conflict, there’s bound to be some allure missing during a 144-minute long film. In “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” the sequel to the 2005 film “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” writer/director Andrew Adamson fails to build on the mythology of his first outing and packages an epic C.S. Lewis story into a tiresome script.

If you’re hoping to see character-driven beavers and a valiant dialogue by the King of the Jungle, then “Prince Caspian” is not your knight in shining armor. Instead, Adamson and his writing crew revolve the story around King Miraz (Sergio Castellitto) and his pursuit to kill his nephew Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) so his newborn son can inherit the thrown and become king.

Meanwhile, back in England for a year since last stumbling into the world of Narnia from a wardrobe, the four Pevensie children – Lucy (Georgie Henley), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), Peter (William Moseley), and Susan (Anna Popplewell) – have no idea how much the world of Narnia has changed over the span of 1,300 years (Apparently one year on earth equals that amount of time in Narnia).

When the children are magically transported back into Narnia, they are all surprised and saddened to find that Narnians have been pushed into the forest where a majority of them live in hiding and in fear of the Telmarines (the human rulers). Determined to keep his spot in line for the kingship, Prince Caspian and the Pevensie children, all of whom are looked upon as “the kings and queens of old” and the saviors of Narnia, set out to defeat King Miraz and his army before they wipe out what is left of magical land.

While the sequel will provide some light escapism, fantasy film series like “The Chronicles of Narnia,” will forever be compared to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. It’s just something fantasy films will have to get used to until the end of time. From a mainstream audience’s viewpoint, the film has already lost simply because the adaptation of Lewis’ work is far less rudimentary than J.R.R. Tolkien.

The storyline Adamson conjures up is not flavored and quickly dissolves as the film proceeds forward into plain scenes of computer generated hokum underwritten by its own standards. Where we had boisterous beavers and charming fauns in the first, we get a dull badger and a team of sword-wielding mice, which are entirely too reminiscent of the Shrek sidekick Puss in Boots (Adamson should have known better).

The best performance of the film comes from actor Peter Dinklage (“The Station Agent”) who plays a Narnian dwarf named Trumpkin. His enchanting personality, however, is no match for the dreary faces of the Pevensie clan. Although scenes of wartime heroics are high (and child-friendly), “Prince Caspian” is basic swordplay with little emotional pull behind any of the characters, CGI or not.

Damián Alcázar – The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

June 6, 2006 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

Actor Damián Alcázar never had to use his imagination as much in his 23-year film and TV career as he did in the new fantasy, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.” The movie is the sequel to 2005’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

Alcázar, the founding member of the Veracruzano Theatre Forum at Veracruzana University and the Center for Experimental Theatre, has starred in a number of Spanish-language films including “Dos Crímenes,” “Un Mundo Maravilloso,” and “El Crimen del Padre Amaro.”

In “Prince Caspian” – which once again follows the adventures of the Pevensie children – the world of Narnia is threatened by the evil King Miraz (Italian actor Sergio Castellitto). Alcázar, who is originally from Jiquilpan, Michoacán, México, plays Lord Sopespian, a high-ranking soldier in Miraz’s army.

During a phone interview with me, Alcázar, 55, talked about his new role in the fantasy genre.

Tell me about your character Lord Sopespian.

He is a lord in the kingdom of Narnia. He is a cavalier. He is a good guy at the beginning but then, little by little, he changes because the power changes him. He falls to the dark side of the human beings.

Were you familiar with the series of books by C.S. Lewis before you auditioned for the role?

No, I just watched the first [film](“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”) When I knew that they were going to film “Prince Caspian,” then I read that book.

What did you think about the first film?

I really enjoyed the scenes with the faun and the little girl. I loved the performance of [actress] Georgie Henley.

Was the role of Lord Sopespian specifically written for a Latino actor?

No, anybody could play him. I think the director [Andrew Adamson] wanted to have a mixed cast from all areas. I think in his adaptation for the movie, he tried to play with the human’s accents and their features.

What are the biggest differences working in Mexican films and American films?

It’s different because of the budget. The budget, of course, is bigger [in the United States.] I’ve done movies in Argentina and Colombia, too.

What was the best part about making a fantasy movie like “Prince Caspian”?

It was very interesting and strange for me to work with things that are imaginary. I really liked the fauns and the centaurs and the little mice. There were scenes where I only could work with my imagination and the imagination of the director. It was very exciting for me.

What do you look for when you audition for a role?

I love to work with very good stories. It doesn’t matter if it’s in America or Spain or México. I just want a good story.