Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian soundtrack is a blend of orchestra compositions sprinkled with appropriately placed songs that latch on to the audience’s emotions. The music helps connect the audience to the emotions associated with the ongoing events throughout the movie through both orchestra and choirs to create impactful sound moments and transitions. The brilliantly selected songs and composed scores effectively set the moods of the audience and make arguments of logos, ethos and pathos.
In one of the beginning scenes, Susan, Peter, Lucy and Edmund Pevensie, four of the main characters were about to board an underground train when suddenly the walls begin falling away to reveal a breathtaking view of a bright blue bay, luminously white sand, and magnificent cliffs. As the walls fall away the song The Kings and Queens of Old by Harry Gregson- Williams begins to play. This song has aspects of ethos as Gregson- Williams, a British film score composer composed not only all of the orchestral pieces for this movie, but also for The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the movie, Shrek. He is a recognized and well renowned composer, thus creating a level of respect to be given to the capturing pieces of music intertwined into the movie. This song also incorporates logos as the choir and orchestra collaborate to produce a sound that portrays a sense of awe as the characters leave the real world and enter once again into the mystical land they all know and love – Narnia. The music grows softer to a silence until Lucy, the youngest sister giggles in realization that they are in Narnia. According to Louis Giannetti in Understanding Music, “Silence in a sound film can be used to symbolize death,” (Giannetti 212) however in this scene the silence is used to give the audience a minute to take in the view and excitement for what is to come next. The volume ascends into soft higher pitched lyrics that entice the audience into feeling the excitement and joy that is exhibited by the characters. The words “wonder” are sung by an effervescent female voice as the siblings run in excitement across the sand and into the water. The word wonder makes a logical appeal, as Narnia is a wondrous, mysterious and magical place. It is almost redundant in that Narnia is obviously mysterious, but by actually singing the word “wonder” it makes the audience excited for discovery as the song makes the foreshadowing argument through lyric and heavenly sounds that there is mystery, majesty and excitement present. The purpose of this song is to excite the audience and to pay recognition of the powerful sounds used to create a feeling of awe in which it accomplishes eloquently.
Another song that stands to contain a vast amount of attention grabbing and enticing music is located in the final scene of the movie. By this part of the movie the battle was fought and won by the Narnians and the audience’s adrenaline levels and excitement are still loudly pumping; however, it is time for the Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy to return to London. The song, The Call by Regina Spektor plays in this final scene as Aslan opens the pathway back into the real world. The song employs a powerful amount of ethos as Spektor sings, “It started out as a feeling, which then grew into a hope, which then turned into a quiet thought, which then turned into a quiet word, and then that word grew louder and louder 'til it was a battle cry. I'll come back when you call me. No need to say goodbye,” for this first verse of the song ultimately summarizes the whole movie. While the words are uplifting and happy, due to the fact that Susan, Peter, Edmund and Lucy have to leave Narnia again and say goodbye to their lovers and close friends the words break the hearts of the audience. The song tears into the audience’s emotion by instilling hopefulness to an ending that the audience is ready for. Watching the scene by itself would be a sad one for the audience, but the combination of the song with the scene enables the audience to feel the pain, contentment and the happiness that the characters feel as they leave Narnia and return to London.
         Overall the soundtrack for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian was exceptional as the escalating sounds, fast pace action music, and enticing melodies embodied the characters emotions and thrust them upon the audience. This film is an excellent example of how sound can affect the audience. I would highly recommend watching this movie, the quality of the soundtrack and the desire you build to remain on the Narnian journey with the sons of Adam will leave you wanting more.


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