The Golden Compass

I went to see this movie the other week and I'm still undecided what I think about it. Firstly, I haven't read the books so I don't know how faithful it was. I know that Pulman has never made any secret of the fact that he has an axe to grind; and I thought it was wielded with a very heavy and unsubtle hand in the film... but that may not be the case in the books.

For the most part I just found the movie a tad disjointed and poorly edited. There was a bit of jumping around and there were a number of things not well explained. Again, they may be clear to people who've read the books, but I would like to think the movie could at least be comprehensible to someone with no background information.

I was chatting with a friend about the film and she said the thing she found most frustrating is that it portrays an 'order' of society that doesn't exist in reality. The scientists and Magesterium are meant to represent Christians, and in the film they are the ruling class of society who seek to control the education system and make sure no one hears about the mystical and wonderful substance called Dust, which few people know about and most believe to be a myth. In reality, though, Christians are FAR from being the 'ruling class' - it's more that we are the ones constantly being silenced and kept out of education, while at the same time we seek to tell people about something wonderful that most people believe is a myth.

Some parts of the film were slow and some of the action sequences were confusing and not particularly exciting, even taking into account that it's a kids' film. I didn't mind it but I don't think I'd bother to see it twice, or to see the sequel if they make one... but I will read the books.


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