In a parallel universe, humans are inseparable from their dæmons, representation of their souls in the shape of an animal. This parallel universe also possesses an alethiometer, also referred as The Golden Compass, which measures the truth. Over the ages, the alethiometers have been destroyed by an organization named Magisterium.
The story opens with Lyra Belacqua(Dakota Blue Richards), an orphan, spending her time at Jordan college. Her dæmon is Pan(Pantalaimon) and often changes shapes. Lord Asriel(Daniel Craig), her uncle, is visiting Jordan college to make a presentation. Lyra, as a result of a misadventure, get locked inside the room where the presentation is going to be held. So, she is able to save Lord Asriel from a death attempt. She also finds out more about Lord Asriel’s intentions. He is looking for funds for an expedition to North Pole and experimenting with a mysterious substance named as Dust.
Lyra then meets up with Marisa Coulter(Nicole Kidman) in a dinner hosted by the college. Marisa persuades the Master of the College in giving her Lyra as an apprentice. The Master agrees reluctantly. Before Lyra leaves Jordan college, the Master presents her with an alethiometer and warns against disclosing the possession to anyone. Lyra then starts her journey with Marisa. Before long, Lyra discovers Marisa is not what she claims to be. Marisa is in hand-in-glove with the Magisterium and is connected to Gobblers, who kidnap children, for mysterious experiment.
Lyra runs away from Marisa and is saved by Gyptians. Now, she embarks on an adventure where she learns to use the alethiometer, befriends a witch named Serafina Pekkala(Eva Green) and a Texan aeronaut named Lee Scoreby(Sam Elliot). She also helps an armored polar bear, Iorek Byrnison(voice of Ian McKellen), from a life of pity to that of glory.
The movie is based on first book in the trilogy, His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman. This is no patch on The Lord of the Rings although the movie is a fantasy and requires stunning imagery like the Lord of the Rings. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable watch.Tags: Movies,The Golden Compass,Dakota Blue Richards,Daniel Craig,Nicole Kidman,Eva Green,Sam Elliot,Ian McKellen,His Dark Materials,Philip Pullman