Golden Compass—the film

Karen and I saw the Golden Compass film on Thursday.  

What to say…? Karen commented that it wasn’t a film for children; there were too many threads to follow, and it really was more of an adult movie that happened to have a child at the centre. She wondered just who the intended audience was. She hadn’t read the books, and commented that the characters were not well-established; you just didn’t know what their motivations were. Having read the books, I’m not sure the characters were really well-established there either. 

Was it like the book? It followed the book in broad outline. It didn’t follow it in all details; I have to admit that I didn’t care except near the very beginning: <spoiler alerts> in the book, the Master of Jordan College attempts to poison Lord Azriel. In the movie, a member of the Magisterium pours the poison into the decanter, rather than the Master. That interests me, as I couldn’t make any sense as to why the Master should want to poison Lord Azriel. If others have found it hard to make sense of the book version, that may explain why the film has changed it.           

As the reviewers have noted, the film softens the anti-catholic Church propaganda. I did note that the bear re-took his armour from a building that obviously represented an Orthodox Church. This marks a change from the book in an anti-Christian direction.                 

Overall, while Dakota Blue Richards put in a very strong performance, I was under-impressed with the film. Had I been a fan of Philip Pullman, I would have been quite disappointed with the film.                                                   

Anyone else seen it? 


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Filed under books & reading, film

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