As I sit here, the night before Thanksgiving break, desperately willing the next 18 hours away, I’ve found myself rewatching my favorite Chronicles of Narina film (not my favorite book by any means — I’m still holding out hope that Disney makes The Last Battle into a film), Prince Caspian. The second of the three films made so far, this movie boasts more action and less Christianity, yet it was still unable to match the commercial success of other beloved childhood series.
In what I can only assume was an attempt to garner more viewers, the filmmakers created a romance between Caspian and Susan Pevensie. Why? What is the driving force behind adaptations implementing romantic relationships where they don’t exist I almost find it to be condescending on the part of the creators, that the audience is so single-minded and naive, the only they can properly enjoy a film is through romance.
The Caspian/Susan romance has been the bane of my existence in regards to this film. To those who have read the books, it is so unbelievably far-fetched, it’s almost idiotic. They are supposed to be 14 years old, not 17, 18 years old as the director insisted. I’m not trying to be a book-purist right now, or saying that the book was better, but this extra subplot was more awkward and cringe-worthy than romantic. The chemistry isn’t there, because these characters, the Pevensies, have never been romanticized.
If we’re trying to keep this romance and film within canon, then this is the start of the issues that prevented Susan from going to Aslan’s country in The Last Battle, when her siblings die in the train crash. It’s because she was too focused on makeup, partying and boys. She forgot Narnia. Perhaps, this was the start.
Or maybe it was the filmmakers completely missing the point of Prince Caspian, which wasn’t about a romance at all.
I wish directors would quit treating the audience like they’re stupid; we can enjoy adaptations without the added romance.