The Golden Compass
All I knew about The Golden Compass before seeing the movie was that it is based on the first book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy and apparently, according to American Christianity, is very bad.
Pullman you see is an atheist, and is out to discredit God. New Line however, didn’t want to offend anyone, so watered the anti religious rhetoric somewhat, demoting the Magisterium to more of an Orwellian Governmental power. A worldwide force, somewhat Hitleristic in this movie adaptation, out to control us by denying us access to our souls.
It’s interesting that an atheist would create a world where our very lives are dependant on us having healthy souls, it seems some what contrary to atheism’s keystone of belief; evolution.
But I’m getting off track; The Golden Compass is all about Twelve-year old Lyra Belacqua, a headstrong girl whose passion for adventure and discovery leads her on the adventure of a lifetime. She’s an interesting child, who takes people by their word and holds them to it. The same principle governs her words as well.
She’s a gutsy character, who has an amazing amount of love and an ability to see the good in people. Her passion for adventure leads her to start to explore the spiritual world, portrayed in The Golden Compass as dust, a force that ties us all together.
It’s this dust that the Magisterium (and presumably the Church) wants to deny, and essentially destroy. The trouble for Pullman is this only serves to show how outdated his view of the church is.
In the end, the movie finished not so much on a cliffhanger, but an invitation to the rest of the trilogy. It’s a trilogy that I’d like to see made, but either the source material or the screenwriter needs to change, as The Golden Compass seems to lack a certain amount of passion that enabled the Lord of the Rings to set the bench mark for fantasy a tad high.
In the end, The Golden Compass is a movie that will hopefully encourage children to explore their imaginations, but it’s also a movie that I would be wary of letting younger kids see due a couple of overtly violent scenes.
Food for thought
If your soul mirrored your own personality and was publicly visible, would you change the way you live your private life?
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: PG – Frightening Fantasy Scenes & Violence.
Duration: 113 mins.
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy.
Actors: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig.
Director: Chris Weitz.
Release Date: 26-12-2007.