Skip to main content

The Golden Compass (2007)

The Golden Compass. Feature film. (2007, 115 mins) IMDB

...imagine a more literal interpretation of the novel on which this film was based...


magine Victorian England in style, but with high-tech gizmos that don't even exist today. Imagine parallel universes and multiple worlds. Imagine every person walking around with a talking animal known as a daemon. Imagine a government that wants to stifle knowledge in name of maintaining control--oh yeah, the Bush administration--that's one's not hard.

The film is a fantasy with action and adventure and religious undertones.

The golden compass is a complicated mechanical device with watch works that allows our hero, Lyra, to read the truth about any questions she asks. Some gizmo.

Lyra is a young girl in school, an orphan, and according to the witches' legend she is the one--the one who can read the last golden compass in existent. It turns out she can.

She represents the forces of good, of pure heart, innocent and naive. The ruling body known as the magesterium wants to control the world, remove knowledge and truth, tell us what to think. (Hmmm, that sounds like organized religion). This force of evil, the dark forces, reminded me of Nazis and Darth Vader, but that was the costume designs. It wasn't hard to despise this collection of people. I was surprised it included Nicole Kidman in a role where she's charming and beautiful but in a second flips into a mean and vicious women. The result is a fascinating character because she becomes unpredictable and dangerous.

I won't comment on the religious aspects of this film because it's not my thing, but I will say there is a simplified view on life--a stark black and white, but that's typical of narratives especially legends, myths and fantasy.

I quite enjoyed the film even if I wasn't sure what a Gyptian was or the other clans of people. I imagine reading the novels before hand would provide insight into whose these people are.

The film ends with a set-up for a sequel, but it also ends abruptly. I expected Lyra to continue her journey to find her uncle/father Lord Arsiel, but that didn't happen. Hmmm.

The running time is listed as 113 minutes. That seems to include 13 minutes of end credits. Unreal.

(P.S. After watching the film and writing my comments, I read some online ones about this film. The film is based on the novels by British writer Phillip Pullman who, as atheist, wrote the books to take shots at the Roman Catholic Church and religion in general. The studio, New Line Cinema, in an act of cowardice, didn't want this shown and as a result the film tries not to offend. As Winnie-the-Pooh says, "Oh, bother." It's a form of censorship and I hate it. It's exactly what Pullman is writing about, warning about. One step closer to the dark ages.)

Posted 2009/04/01 at 19h08ET in Movie Commentary.


Popular posts from this blog

Cast of Characters from The Protectors

Friday, September 16, 2011 ... Cast of Characters from The Protectors... M ost novels do not include a list of characters, although I have read some with them. Tolstoy readers would likely appreciate it. Plays do. Scripts don’t. Not sure what the thinking is, but I didn’t include it with my novel. I had a feeling I’d be shot if I had suggested it, but with the internet, I can provide such a list and here is the list of the major players in my first novel The Protectors (A Thriller).
Black Carr Security Consultants Limited Baird Carr, Former CIA Officer, Co-founder, OwnerEmerson Black, Former Secret Service Agent, Co-founder, OwnerSarah Bishop, Former FBI Agent, Senior ConsultantDebra Paeytonne, Office AdministratorBeth, ReceptionistStephen Tedeschi, Former Secret Service Agent, ConsultantNigel, Independent Consultant
U.S. Secret Service Ken Milton, DirectorRichard Heyward, Retired AgentJulian Constance, Agent, Killed in Assassination AttemptTrisha Evrington, AgentTerry Flannon, Agen…

Day 5—Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Cage

Monday, November 21st, 2016 No work on the novel on Day 4. Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments.
At 18:31 Office ... if I use Leänne instead of Leanne how will people react... Y esterday was Sunday and I took it off, plus I was dealing with some mental health issues. I know this story is something that is simply a matter of putting in the time to make it happen. I’m supposed to be working on it as much as I can but I haven’t been doing that. Two main reasons. It’s been a while since I’ve worked on a story. Then there’s the issues of my mental health. Things happen. I get down and it impacts on my writing. I might be using it as an excuse, but it’s clearly something I need to deal with. I have to find a schedule I can work with. Perhaps I need to put this first and cut out other things. Not sure but I will figure it out. A name for the hero came to me. For the moment going with Leanne or is it Leanna? Should be Le…

Writing a Novel–The Deep Blue Cage–Introduction

Thursday, March 9th, 2017 ... I fight my insecurities and doubts and I withdraw farther away from people and life ... I n November 2016 I started work on a new novel with the working title: The Deep Blue Cage. A few weeks after I started, I stopped. I was feeling too depressed about everything including the idea of writing a new novel. It happens to me at various times, with varying degrees, and it is debilitating. The ultimate issue was: Why bother? Why bother write another novel no one will read and no one will care about. I also found I was dreading the writing process more and more. It was painful to think about. I walked away and focused on other things. Or tried to. That didn’t work either. I felt trapped and unsure where I should head, what I should do. I even asked the big question, what the hell is life about anyway. There’s no one answer to this question despite the proclamations of some and because I believe I can think critically, can reason, I look at it from many a…