Monday, 15 March 2010

Alice in Wonderland

I should start by saying I (at least to this day) like all things Tim Burton and I also have very good memories of all those classic Disney films as Alice in Wonderland. So, even having never read Lewis Carroll's original story, I couldn't help myself but go watch Tim Burton's 3D take on the Wonderland. I wasn't disappointed. It is visually compelling, entertaining, and has a very good argument.
This is a sequel to Alice's first trip to the (after all called) Underland. She's now 19-years-old, has been having the same dream about that trip since she was a little girl and believes to be dreaming once more. As had happened for the first time, Alice meets the usual characters: the White Rabbit, Absolem the Blue Caterpillar, Chessur the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and the March hare, etc... and eventually comes to meet the Red Queen again playing cricket. While she can't remember her first trip almost to the end, Alice comes to find out this dream seems quite real and that she has an important part to play on the destiny of this land. She saves Underland, allowing the crown to be returned to the White Queen and the exile of the mad Red Queen and then decides to leave to her own world. She comes back a different Alice (the old Alice, as Absolem would put it) much more decided and sure of herself, says no to a marriage proposal, sends some advices and warnings to all those trying to control her life, and sets of to follow her deceased father's footsteps working with her "almost father-in-law to be".
Alice in Wonderland is a good film from almost any point of view, congratulations Mr. Tim Burton. The visual effects are marvellous, the 3D in well achieved and it all adds to what could otherwise be only just a sequel. The argument is also very nice, clear but still maintaining some of the mystery behind the land and its characters. The one thing I can criticize is the haste in the last scene, when Alice talks to the oppressing people in the party, and the unnatural lack of answers to what she says. The story progresses at a very nice pace and kept my attention for the whole 108 minutes film. And last, but not even the slightest least, there is the acting issue. Johnny Depp's Hatter is astonishing and another unique character creation out of the renowned genius. Helena Bonham Carter is as amazing as I'm used to, she becomes the perfect big-headed lunatic Red Queen. There are others that can't be forgotten, Alan Rickman does great voicing the smoking caterpillar Absolem, and then there are those characters that we still owe Lewis Carroll a lot for coming up with them as the Cheshire Cat that is still uncanny or the March Hare who can always get a good laugh out of me. I also enjoyed Anne Hathaway's White Queen with her eccentric marionette pose. Mia Wasikowska ended up being the least sparkling character in the Underland, though I can't say she did bad. How could she call attention to her being the normal little girl, as special as Alice may be, in a land of impossible wonders?
I do recommend this film to all who enjoy fantasy, specially those who have seen and liked the Disney animation from 1951 and mostly for Tim Burton's, Johnny Depp's and Helena Bonham Carter's fans.

   Style - 8
   Creativity - 8
   Entertainment - 8
   Relevance - 5

   Overall - 8

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