Girls Talk: The Golden Compass
The Golden Compass is the new film from New Line, directed by Chris Weitz, and starring Dakota Blue Richards, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott and the voices of Ian McKellan and Ian McShane, among others. It’s about a young girl, Lyra, who lives in a world where everyone’s soul is outside her body, represented by an animal who can not only talk, but also argue. The soul, called a daemon, is able to change shape until its human reaches maturity, when it “settles” into one form.
There has been a great deal of controversy about this film, based on the book by Philip Pullman, because some people think the bad guys (members of an organization called The Magisterium) is The Church. The Magisterium is conducting experiments, trying to remove daemons from children “for their own good,” and so “they will obey the rules.” There’s also a lot of talk about a substance called Dust, but that doesn’t play an important part in the story until the later two chapters of the trilogy.
Martha Thomases: What did you think of the movie? What would you tell people who don’t know anything about it?
Lillian Baker: I think it’s pretty good as long as you’re someone who likes surprises. There were a lot of sudden movements.
MT: Would you call it a scary movie?
LB : Not really. I wasn’t afraid except when Lyra was going to be separated from her daemon. The daemons were kind of like souls but they were like you would be if you were an animal.
MT: I liked that part. The servants and lower echelon people in the Magisterium all had daemons that were all some kind of dog. The soldiers’ were wolves. The Gyptians’ were birds who could follow them in their travels on land and on sea. The bears, however, did not have daemons. They had their armor, which they described as being like their warrior daemons.
LB: I think the bears were very good. It was a nice touch in the movie.
MT: What kind of daemon would you have? And your mom and dad?
LB: I’d have a bunny or a cat, because they have lots of energy, and I’m very active. My mom would have an eagle, because she’s very watchful.
MT: And your dad?
LB: What kind of animal is bossy?
MT: What would I be?
LB: You would have a dolphin, because they are smart and like to swim.
MT: Thank you. Would I have to stay in the water then? Maybe I should have an otter instead, so I could be on land sometime. Did you have an favorite characters?
LB: I liked Mrs. Coulter, even though she was bad. Her daemon was a golden monkey because she was very curious. And I liked Lyra.
MT: I liked that everyone important in the movie was female. Lyra was the heroine, and Mrs. Coulter was the main villain. The witch, Serafina Pekkala, was key to the plot, and so was Mrs. Costa. The men didn’t treat them any differently from any other of their colleagues.