Monday, January 14, 2008
The Golden Compass

Right. So I have not updated this blog in more than a month. Pardon me, but I just don't find a lot of recent movies interesting. Add to that the fact that I'm still finding it difficult to find people to see movies with me, my lack of funds, and time, and anyway... I'm glad this was still being shown in cinemas, despite my long absence, and that my sister was back home for a while and so we got a chance to see it. Anyway...

I'm not really too keen on discussing the whole controversial issue regarding this film. Mostly because I haven't read the book, haven't read the e-mail that says controversial things about it, have no idea who Philip Pullman is and what his beliefs are, and could frankly care less about all the controversies in literature. I mean, Harry Potter has been burned and banned in a lot of circles because they say it promotes witchcraft, and therefore the "devil's work". But when I read it, it's just good fun, which is the same thing I can say for this movie, except I didn't read it, I watched it. And I had a really good time watching it.

The story goes like this: In The Golden Compass universe, people's souls are detached from their bodies and takes shape of animals (which is really cool, by the way), which they call Daemons. Some of them believe that there are parallel worlds wherein daemons don't exist (I suppose that that is the world we know). And those people who believe that, want to find it. Unfortunately, finding such things as parallel worlds brings about a lot of questions, that are contrary to the teachings of the organization that rules said universe, and so the organization does its best to quiet the people who are looking for more answers (or questions). One of which, is a girl named Lyra, played by Dakota Blue Richards, who is prophesized (by the witches) to be the one (the only one in their universe) who is able to read the golden compass, which is the key to finding the parallel worlds, and other truths. Hence, she is being chased by people of the organization, Mrs. Coulter for one, played by Nicole Kidman, so as not to spread the word that organization's teachings aren't all correct/true.

Okay, that's not actually the story but the main idea of it. The story is that, Lyra goes on a quest to rescue her friends who have been kidnapped by the organization. Along the way, she meets a bear (and it's a magical bear, so it's strong, and it can talk to humans) called Iorek Byrnison, voiced by Ian McKellen. She enlists his help, and succeeds in the rescue of her friends, but in the end, she finds out that her work isn't finished because despite having set kidnapped children free, she still has yet to find her uncle who has been marked for death by the organization, and let people know the truth.

Of course, in order to do those things, the characters do a lot of other cool things, like ride in blimps, or other air-vehicles that aren't exactly like the airplanes we know. They talk to animals, and fight with beasts, and ride in carriages pulled by animals that aren't quite horses. The truth is, I really enjoyed watching the movie, because the fantasy world is really very original, and though the story is yet again about some Chosen One who needs to tell people the truth and go up against some bad guys, well, the little things, like the animals changing shape, or other magics, more than make up for it.

Another truth is that I didn't find any connection whatsoever with what people say about it, how it promotes atheism and all that. The only thing I can find that might have a connection to it, is how Lyra is very defiant, questioning everything she's being told, and doing whatever she wants, regardless of whether the adults in the story allow her to do them or not. But that trait is present in many other characters of stories (fairy tales even) that are well-loved to this day by most people from all religions, that it hardly qualifies as atheist propaganda.

Of course, the book might be another case, but as this is a review of the movie, I'm going to say that the movie is really quite safe. I'm thinking, that if I didn't think I should be an atheist after seeing it, chances are, other people (especially kids) wouldn't either.


Posted at 05:59 pm by miriyammqx

 

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