Cynthia and I saw The Golden Compass last night. And I was disappointed. And no, it wasn’t about the religion. With all that brocade and those Roman collars, it was obvious that the heavies were clerics. The Catholic League will feast for weeks on that. There were bigger holes and problems.
Redacted by the Magisterium. Spoilers!
How is Dust a state secret if someone’s daemon dissolves into swirl of golden particles when they die? Be careful with visual leitmotif, folks, lest it makes your movie have an idiot plot.
There was too much “as you know, Bob” in the shooting script. An opening voiceover explains daemons. When Serafina first arrives, she delivers a dissertation on witches. There was a missed opportunity for what would had been a great flashback sequence showing Iorek making his armor from meteorite iron.
But the real problem was the plotting. Weitz’s script reveals that Lyra’s world is one of many parallel worlds in the opening voiceover. In the scene where Lord Azarel requests funding from Jordan college, he says there is a gap between the worlds. (This is not made explicit in the book.) But after all that setup, the movie ends before Lyra tries to rescue Azarel, and more importantly she does not cross into the other world.
This violates squid on the mantelpiece: if you talk about a hole between worlds in act one. Then you damn well better have your protagonist falling through it by act three!