December 12, 2005

Narnia takes over the world

Director Andrew Adamson, whose two Shrek films grossed about $1.2 billion worldwide, has created yet another franchise as The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe roared worldwide to the tune of over $105 million on its opening weekend, with $67.1m coming from North America.

There are six more novels in C S Lewis's classic series. A contemporary and friend of J R R Tolkien, Lewis' novels have weaved Christian themes into breathtaking fantasy imagery, tailored especially towards children. Lewis, once a well-known atheist, became an ardent Christian when he was about 30, and this significantly impacted the literature he created. Across America, protestant churches embraced the film with great enthusiasm, holding special screenings for the faithful.

Revolving around four British children, their magic closet and a talking lion, the movie opened on some 4500 screens in North America, for a miraculous $18,546 per site. Though the winter's most eagerly awaited film, King Kong, directed by Lord Of The Rings maker Peter Jackson, opens on Wednesday, Hollywood experts believe the Narnia magic will stick.

1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Voices: Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Jim Broad Bent and Liam Neeson.
Director: Andrew Adamson.
Charming and scary at the same time. Lavishly made film with plenty of thrilling scenes.

Pacing in the second half is too slow.

Number of weeks: 3.
BO Verdict: Hit.

2. Syriana

Voices: George Clooney, Christopher Plummer, Chris Cooper, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet.
Director: Stephen Gaghan.
Taut and well-acted political thriller.

Can get too complex and confusing.

Number of weeks: 3.
BO Verdict: Average.

3. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

Voices: Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Brendon Gleeson, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith.
Director: Mike Newell.
Relentless suspense, good humour and awesome special effects.

No concessions for those who haven't read the book.

Number of weeks: 4.
BO Verdict: Superhit.

The review

4. Walk The Line

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon.
Director: James Mangold.
Vibrant story of sin and redemption, strong performances.

Little appeal for the instant gratification crowd.

Number of weeks: 4.
BO Verdict: Hit.

5. Yours, Mine & Ours

Cast: Dennis Quaid, Rene Russo, Linda Hunt and Rip Torn.
Director: Raja Gosnell.
Viewers may find it to be easy to digest entertainment.

A great cast with little to do.

Number of weeks: 3.
BO Verdict: Success.

6. Aeon Flux

Cast: Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Marton Csokas, Jonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okonedo
Director: Karyn Kusama.
Charlize Theron.

Lifeless film.

Number of weeks: 2.
BO Verdict: Flop.

7. Just Friends

Voices: Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris and Chris Klein.
Director: Roger Kumble.
Sentimentality and romance.

On the whole, lacks sparkle and depth.

Number of weeks: 3.
BO Verdict: Success.

8. Pride & Prejudice

Cast: Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Donald Sutherland.
Director: Joe Wright.
Sumptuous looking film, solidly acted and filled with good humour.

Dense plot.

Number of weeks: 6.
BO Verdict: Art-house hit.

9. Chicken Little

Voices: Zach Braff, Garry Marshall, Joan Cusack, Steve Zahn.
Director: Mark Dindal.
Pleasing to the eye, many solid laughs.

Not as heartfelt as Shrek or The Incredibles.

Number of weeks: 6.
BO Verdict: Hit.

10. Rent

Voices: Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, and Taye Diggs.
Director: Chris Columbus.
Decent performances, pulsating score, great dance sequences.

Could have packed in more emotions and heartfelt moments.

Number of weeks: 3.
BO Verdict: Flop.

  Text: Arthur J Pais
  Design: Uday Kuckian

Copyright © 2005 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.