We saw it last night. The emotional impact surprised me. I am a rather unemotional person, but if I expected to cry it would surely have been at the slaying of Aslan. But I did not cry then. But I could not believe the tears that flowed from my eyes as I watched Aslan lead the children to the thrones He had prepared for them, the thrones to which they were destined.
As I reflected on this I realized how deeply C. S. Lewis understood that the story is never finished with what we are "saved from" - the life of the traitor exchanged for the death of Aslan. No, the story is not done until we have understood what we are "saved for." How beautifully Lewis and this Narnia brought to the screen pictures for us the shocking and amazing truth: we are saved to be restored to what we were created for from the get go! To rule over the creation itself, under the rule of the Lion of Judah.
The devil (in the form of the white witch) pretends that this world is HIS. That is all belongs to him. The fox shows what poppy-cock that is when he shockingly apologizes to "Your Majesty" and the queen assumes it is to her, but the real object is Edmund. The shock on the boy's face is the shock on any human's face when it dawns on him the "things God has prepared for those that love him." The scene may not have been in Lewis's manuscript, but you could hear him shouting "Amen!" from heaven. That's the point. The majesty to which Aslan has destined this race of men, and how not even our treachery and rebellion can bring an end to His plan - it simply upped the cost unthinkably.
A lovely film. Lose the expectation that you're visiting Middle Earth and you'll enjoy it just fine.
My one and only criticism: couldn't they have found a real BASS to read Aslan's lines?