There are many universes and many Earths parallel to each other. Worlds like yours, where people’s souls live inside their bodies, and worlds like mine, where they walk beside us, as animal spirits we call daemons. -Serafina
The Golden Compass (2007)
Posted By Heather On 24 Jan 2009. Under 2.5 Stars (Noteworthy), 2007, Action-Adventure, Fantasy Tags: 2007 Movies, Academy Award, Action-Adventure, Chris Walker, Chris Weitz, Christopher Lee, Dakota Blue Fanning, Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Fantasy, Freddie Highmore, Ian McKellen, Ian McShane, Kathy Bates, Kristin Scott Thomas, Nicole Kidman, Philip Pullman, Special Effects Dynasty, The Golden Compass
Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence.
Written and Directed By: Chris Weitz
Based On the Novel By:Philip Pullman
Staring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Chris Walker, Ian McKellen, Freddie Highmore, Eva Green, Ian McShane, Christopher Lee, Kristen Scott Thomas, and Kathy Bates
In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.
A split road of critics declare this film a decent adaption of the novel or an atrocity. I fall on the side of neither as I have never read the Philip Pullman novels, and unjaded by that standard I felt The Golden Compass was a magical and if anything a visual treat to view. Styistically, it grips you immediately. In many years of watching special effects films with the most cutting edge technology and imaginations I have still never seen anything so vibrant and inventive as the world created in this film. It goes with no surprise to me that it won an Academy Award. Visually, this movie is what special effects fantasy worlds dream to be. It was another world entirely.
With such power optically it’s no surprise the rest of the story was easier to buy. It’s strange ideals and character’s, along with the mystic compass itself became a tangible world easy to jump into. It’s breathtaking world with eerie character and creatures to learn about actually stole away from the idea of a plot at all. When you realize there is actually a complicated story being told, it’s almost difficult to pay attention with the all the eye candy and so much to learn. The script did fail in it’s ability to clearly convey the plot and the rules of the world itself, leaving much unanswered that needed acknowledgement, but some of it’s mystery helped build toward the next scene. The unknowing of the strange world and it’s character’s made each scene possibly more intriguing than it had a right to be.
Strong actors such as Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, with voice-overs by Ian McKellan and Freddie Highmore gave the tale more integrity, but the focus on Lyra, played by Dakota Blue Fanning, was the main seller outside of the special effects. This young actress played defiance, curiosity and innocence all in the same breath. She stood toe to toe with special effects actors and with the likes of Nicole Kidman herself. Seeing her in future roles is something we all have to look forward to.
Clearly, The Golden Compass had a solid ground in which to base it’s creation, and it paid a devotion to it’s original creator by it’s magnificent visual world. It triumphed there and gave itself an opportunity to be something great. While the story did lose it’s sense of pacing at points, and make assumed connections with it’s characters that were never truly developed, it was overall a very enjoyable film and worth watching just to be stunned by it’s special effects. Perhaps my lack of knowledge with the novels creation let me enjoy this more than I should have but I found it to be worthwhile. Certainly worth a rental.