The Golden Compass

I almost didn’t go and see this film. I liked the book so much, and the film seem to garner a lot of poor reviews – but today we went anyway.

And I enjoyed it, mostly. Mind you, I could fill in the back story because I had read the books and I knew what was going on, and I understood the complexities of the original tale.

Visually it was great. The ending was indeed too sweet, and I think it was a big mistake not to conclude with the real ending of the book and the ultimate betrayal that was so totally shattering. The impact of that will be lessened now, as it must come at the beginning of the next film – if there is one – when the emotional attachments to the characters now in place are diminished by time. A silly decision.

And btw, all the parents who don’t like their kids to have contact with ideas that differ from their own should relax. You can let your offspring go to this movie and they will remain totally uncontaminated by any hint of atheism. Overt religious overtones are conspicuously absent from this film.

Tell you one odd thing, though. My husband, who has not read the book, was heard to mutter several times in agreement with the anti-Magisterium sentiment that emerged in the story. He obviously found those parts very personally relevant…and he has no experience whatsoever with any Christian church. Ever.

Now I wonder whatever he could possibly have been thinking…?


The Golden Compass — 2 Comments

  1. I don’t know what the structural reasons were for the moviemakers’ decision to end the film where it does – e.g. whether they preferred to have the big battle as the final climax, or whether they wanted to keep the ending more upbeat than downbeat as it’s a family film and they didn’t want to put the punters off coming back next time.

    It interests me though, this perceived difference between narrative structures – what is sustainable in a series of novels (each published a couple of years apart) or what is considered workable in a series of movies (released in cinemas a year or so apart, but also made available for private ownership on DVD in between).

    I realise of course that they are different media, that some things work better on screen and some as written text. But are we to assume that movie audiences are somehow less evolved than readers, and thus needing to be kept entertained with a lite and upbeat version? Or is it more a factor of what the Magisterium of movie production companies have decided is most profitable business-wise, rather than a reflection on the intelligence of the movie-goers themselves?

  2. Thank you for this… I have been wondering whether I would see this movie, and whether to read the book first. Have decided I will do both!

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