Author Topic: "Golden Compass 2" = "Half-Life 3"  (Read 399 times)

Offline N-drju

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"Golden Compass 2" = "Half-Life 3"
« on: December 12, 2016, 09:56:16 AM »
Now it's my turn to share an observation with you.

Just this Saturday I finally watched the "Golden Compass" movie in full length. With an empty house, lazy afternoon and friends heading off for their Christmas, I finally had an occasion for some quality time at home.

Now, I watched the whole movie very closely and I frequently got a feeling that it is somewhat "weak" and unconvincing in regards to storytelling and the plot itself. It had no power or energy reminiscent of the "Tales of Narnia" or even the (now infamous... hehe ;)) Harry Potter series. Before I started watching this movie, I did not have the faintest idea that it was indeed heavily criticized (not only though) for that - for lax storytelling that had neither nerve nor the feel of the original book "The Northern Lights" that was its source material.

Still, the story had some elements that captivated my attention big time and made a strong influence on me. Most of all, I loved the idea of an "external" human soul in the form of their animal companions and the depiction of the bond and strong relationship that they shared with each other. If you are anything like me, and I am a kind of philosophical, spiritual person, you probably felt the same way about it as I did. This notion was very touching in my opinion. Romantic almost.

I liked the important (yet hugely convoluted as I can see from the reviews) message about "civil disobedience" against the powers-to-be that aim to restrict freedom, and want to govern obedient people rather than allow them to have emotions, feelings and trust their "daemons" rather than institutionalized authorities like "The Magistratum."

Last but not least, the visuals - some of which, were made in Terragen, mind you.

And it is exactly for those three elements that, when the film ended, I felt somewhat "robbed". Sure, I was allowed an opportunity to witness a set of beautiful ideas and a somewhat familiar, somewhat unique world. Yet, I was not given enough time nor a good chance to actually immerse in this world. :( Yes IMMERSE is the right wording.

Keeping this in mind, I went on to find some information on the movie's sequel but an unpleasant surprise caught me there... It doesn't seem like the original producers would like to create a sequel...

Several reasons were cited and it looks like the filmmakers have made enemies in most every group that saw the film. Passionate protests were made by religious groups, citing that the book and the movie as well openly attack The Magistratum which is just another name for the Catholic Church. Conversely and ironically, fans of Philip Pullman's trilogy, insisted that the filmmakers made this criticism too weak! Others yet, simply look at the financial aspect and claim that the movie was in the red and there is no reason why anyone should finance the second part.

I think that the problem resides in the filmmakers attempt to walk the line, doing their own interpretation of the source material, trying to please everyone at the same moment, rather than following the novel closely - as should be done in case of adaptations... ::) Even if the magistratums-to-be would scoff at it, it could become a huge success among the viewers if it was accurate. As a result, the viewer is left with a sketchy story, comparable to a car without an engine or the driving wheel. Does it still look like a car? Sure. But is it a car? Errr...

Unfortunately innovative, emotional elements that are strong on their own, cannot defend themselves against a "euphemistic" film adaptation. I also do not understand why should The Magistratum be considered as a depiction of Catholic Church? In my opinion and after viewing the film The Magistratum can represent a full array of entities or people, rather than one particular institution, that have authoritarian viewpoints! The Magistratum might as well be a depiction of an oppressive government in general, a dictator perhaps, or maybe even Russia, United States or European Comission, you name it!

There have been a lot of criticism against this film from all possible sides. If there is any way to mend it, I would say this could be creating a sequel that is as close to the original novel as it gets. That could be one of the ways to yet redeem this production. But I don't think this is going to happen... And this is mine main point for criticism. :(
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