Narnia—A Candy Cane Striped, Sugar-Coated Warped and Evil Mythology
I started out rather impressed with Narnia. It didn’t seem too Disneyfied, the opening shots were of a perfectly realized aerial battle, Nazi fighter planes dropping bombs on London. The kids seemed like real British kids from that era, not plastic sit-com kids. The transition from the mundane world into Narnia was well done. Yes, like with the recent Harry Potter movie, this movie had a similar $150 million budget, and $150 million does buy some quality eye candy.
But at a very specific point in the movie, when Santa Claus shows up (no, I am not joking), I became turned off, and as more and more heavy-handed and warped Christian allegory came into play I became increasingly nauseated. The version of Christianity that is closest to what Christ was and said (though I am not now, nor ever have been a Christian) is Gnostic Christianity, where the feminine principle is valued and where Christ and the path to “the kingdom of heaven” is associated with androgyny—a balance of archetypal masculine and feminine. … .from the Gnostic Gospel According to Thomas:
..Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner and the above as the below, and when you make the male and the female into as single one, so that the male will not be male and the female (not) be female…then shall you enter (the Kingdom).
(For a much more thorough description of this see Casting Precious into the Cracks of Doom—-Androgyny, Alchemy, Evolution and the One Ring in the Tolkien Mythos category in the writing section of zaporacle.com) Instead of that we get the most warped and patriarchal, even pathological version of the Christian mythos in this movie (which I assume gets it from the book, which I have not read). In this lame and heavy-handed allegory, Christ is represented by a big talking lion and evil is personified by a rather androgynous woman. And once the patriarchal lion defeats the evil feminine then everything is right with the world. Just the message we need, huh? Nauseatingly stupid and regressive.
C.S. Lewis was a recent convert to the Church of England when he wrote those tales. His close friend, J.R.R. Tolkien, a slow, meticulous, endlessly revising and polishing type of writer was horrified by how quickly his friend churned out a fantasy book. Tolkien frequently, in writing and conversation, castigated allegory as the weakest and poorest form of fantasy. Now I think he must have particularly had Narnia in mind. I agree with Tolkien about allegory, the only allegory I ever read that had any merit was George Orwell’s Animal Farm and possibly Canterbury Tales (though I never got into them much). But this movie is about the most offensively stupid allegory I’ve ever experienced. One time I did read a C.S. Lewis book, one of his sci-fi trilogy, possibly Out of the Silent Planet . It was quite clever for a while, but then he steps in with this sanctimonious patriarchal bullshit about how much happier and more fulfilled women are when they realize the sacred truth that their role is to subordinate themselves to their husbands. Same experience as with Narnia, you start to get into the fantasy writing and then the sick religious ego of C.S. Lewis shows up like an old guy in an overcoat who wants to expose himself at children’s birthday party. Take your warped patriarchal version of Christianity and put it back in the wardrobe, thank you very much, we’ve got enough warped fundamentalists acting out their pathological mythologies already.