Sunday, July 13, 2008

AN OLD CONTROVERSY, REVISITEDYesterday I watched the movie,


Yesterday I watched the movie, "The Golden Compass," which I had rented from Blockbuster Online. I was very curious about it because of all the controversy last year, when it was released into theaters. (I had also listened to parts of it -- when I was awake -- during the ride to Bend with son J.D., DIL Kris, and her sister Tiffany when we went there for Thanksgiving last year, as J.D. was playing the book during that time.)

The story is about a young girl named Lyra Belacqua, played by Dakota Blue Richards, some of whose young playmates have been disappearing, taken by people called the Gobblers. Lyra's uncle is Lord Asriel, played by Daniel Craig, and he has been targeted for death by a member of the ruling body, and she saves his life. Not long after that, a lovely woman named Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman) visits and invites Lyra to go with her to the north, but not before Lyra is given a supernatural tool -- the last remaining golden compass -- which she is to keep secret.

In this universe, which is called a parallel universe to ours, each person has not an inner soul but an outer one, which is in the shape of an animal. Lyra's continues to shift shape, as she has not decided on a permanent one for hers yet. These animal-shaped souls are called daemons (pronounced demons).

As the story progresses, it becomes quite plain who the heroes and the villains are. The battle is between good and evil.

My biggest impression of it was that it was totally fiction, and should be viewed as such. I do feel that the author was tweaking Christians, especially excitable ones, by having the souls be outside rather than inside the bodies and having their name pronounced "demons."

Actually, the movie was generally panned by critics and I thought the ending left a person totally hanging. Maybe the producers were leaving an opening for a sequel; I don't know. I am not sure that I recommend it, just because it wasn't all that great a movie. But I'm glad I saw it and have formed my own opinion about it, especially due to all the hullabaloo about it last year.

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