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Movie Review: The Golden Compass

Synopsis: In a world ruled by the Church Magisterium and your soul manifests as an animal companion, Lyra Balecqua goes on a journey to the North to find rescue her friend Roger who’s been kidnapped by the Gobblers. With the aid alethiometer, she makes new friends and enemies on her incredible journey.

What I think: When it comes to movies based on books, it’s my policy to read the original works before watching the adaptation. Someone told me that the movie was rather close to the book and she was right. I understand that there are scenes from the book that had to be cut due to the fact that it was rather gross while the rest were not that essential in the telling. I didn’t want to put too much stock into the trailers as trailers lie, so even though the trailers gave me goosebumps in their awesomeness, I went into the theatre without an expectations at all. Well, not much anyway.

Dakota Blue Richards was well cast as Lyra. She carried Lyra’s haughtiness without being too overbearing about it. Though I find that the closeness between her and Pan didn’t translate on screen, no matter how much she hugged him and cuddled him. She kept telling him to hush. I felt bad for Pan. Daniel Craig was great as always. I wanted to lick him but then, that’s nothing new. Eva Green and Nicole Kidman were beautiful as their respective characters.

It’s inevitable that some parts of the book were changed and most of them were for the better. Though I would have preferred to see Serafina Pekkala’s daemon instead of just seeing her. The battle scenes between Iorek and the bear king could have been more elaborate. Too bad that if they followed how the fight actually ended, the rating would have shot up to an R instead of remaining PG, but it would have been cool to see him rip the warm heart out of the chest of his opponent and eat it to show his dominion.

The whole chunk of the last part of the book wasn’t shown but I guess they’re going to have it in the next movie. Well, I hope there would be a next movie because I would hate for it to end just like that. There are too little scenes with Daniel Craig. They should have more scenes of him, preferably naked but then, it’s a kids movie. Sigh…

Overall, it’s a good movie; better than Narnia, though not on the level of LoTR but then, nothing would be as good as LoTR. It’s not overly scientific or anti-Catholic like the books. If you like the fantasy genre, this would be interesting for you.

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