The Golden Compass

I had the day off, so I decided to beat the crowds and take advantage of a cheap afternoon ticket to go see The Golden Compass. I wasn't expecting much, which probably explains why I ended up enjoying the movie more than I thought I would.

As was the case with Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, this movie is intended for a young audience, even more so than the book. I've read The Golden Compass a few years ago, so I can't say with certainty if memory serves me right. Still, it looks as though the producers followed the essence of Pullman's novel. With one major exception being the absence of the Church. The Magisterium and Oblation Board are present, but the Church is not. . .

Visually, the movie is great. A neat soundtrack sets the mood, and the actors do a wonderful job to plunge the viewers into the tale. Kudos to the young actress playing the role of Lyra, for she is a perfect fit for the role.

All in all, a nice family movie for the Holidays. And you also get to see the trailer for the upcoming Narnia movie as well. . .

5 commentaires:

Spherical Time said...

I was very disappointed. They cut the very powerful ending off of the book, and it looks like they won't bother to get to it until the next movie.

I wish they hadn't mutilated the movie like that. It had a perfectly acceptable ending already. It didn't need a cliff hanger.

Dliwir said...

I'll have to agree with Spherical Time here. The ending gives the whole first book a deeper meaning! Leave that out, and nothing makes much sence.

However, there are more changes than just the ending that are neither necessary, nor make much sence at all. I don't expect the movie to be exactly like the book, but why they mix up the order of things is beyond me. Why come up with some weird reason for Lyra to reach the lab on her own (Big bear just tells the little girl to go on out into the endless ice on her own? Come on) when the book explains it much more consistently? Why have the bear fight much earlier in the story when it makes much more sence to have it later (and really, you could move that scene from one point to other without changing it much).

The strenghts of the movie lie in its actors. Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman (although blond, but that really fits even better) and Sam Elliott are quite perfect I think. Special effects are nice, but in some cases overdone too.

So overall it has its moments but is quite disappointing compared to the book (which I didn't particularily like, btw).

Spherical Time said...

I liked the book, and was prepared to ignore minor stuff like the mixing up of the order of things. If they hadn't taken off the ending, I think I would have really liked it.

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to admit, it didn't nearly meet the expectiations.
It was not a good transformation from novel into movie...
It's similar to Narnia which also really failed to astonish.

I guess the reason is what we here call "the movie is to Americanic", say: not an european way of storytelling: Nice Picture, but really a let-down in the script!

However STARDUST, which also is an US-Movie, was really great - great actors, great script, great pictures...

Simon said...

I saw it last night. I thought everything seemed a bit rushed and some important parts were missed out. It's been a while since I read the books, but explaining things such as why Lyra was pretending to be a daemon to the bear king wouldn't have taken too much longer to fit in.
However, I thought the special effects were excellent, and the acting was top notch from all quarters.
And I agree with earlier posters - it seems they wimped out compared to the ending of the book.