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Review: The Golden Compass

I quite like the film actually; I thought it was a far more coherent narrative than the book. A lot of complaints have been centered around changes to the story: they made characters nicer! The Church isn't there (exactly...sort of...but it's evil...except not as evil as in the book...wah!!)! It's too busy!

I found it far more leisurely than the book itself, which was way more whizz-bang in a frying pan-to the fire-to the coals way. Part of this is also because they essentially lopped off the real ending to give a fake "happy ending" and frankly, I'm fine with that.

Spoiler alert! In the real ending Lyra's lil pal goes splat because her father kills him, opening up a portal to another dimension, in which they all go through. I shit you not. And then it ends. Sailing into the sunset is better, especially when there's no contract for the concluding two films. And there isn't one.

I also quite like the focus on the importance of free will. I would love to be a fly on the wall of some family's dining table when after viewing the movie a little child demands to know what free will is. Oh the fun conversations that will ensue!

ETA: Great interview with Philip Pullman over at More Intelligent Life.

ETA: A friend forwarded me this fun quiz to finding your own daemon. Mine is a lion named Myron! For some reason it saved my friend's husband's animal, so you may or may not open the link and find that Jim's daemon is an ocelot...

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