based on the book by Lewis Carroll
IMDb ; Official site ; Seen at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival ; Metacritic

alice in wonderland

Alice in Wonderland dir. Tim Burton

Ever since I saw the trailer for this with the wonderful character design I wanted to see it. Plus, Wonderland as seen through Tim Burton’s eyes! And Johnny Depp! And the fact that it is 3D. Of course with all those positives there was always the chance for expectations being far too high and the film itself being a disappointment.

This isn’t really an adaptation of Carroll’s book, instead we have a 19 year old Alice, and all the characters in Wonderland, or the Underland, are wondering if she is the right Alice, especially as she doesn’t seem to remember being there before. They need Alice to be their champion and fight the jabberwock and so defeat the Red Queen. But if she isn’t the Real Alice can she do it?

There is so much great stuff in this film. Underworld looks fantastic. Just look at the design of the Red Queen, with her giant “bulbous” head. But if you want a film to work you have to have great characters, and Burton has that here. The Red Queen was wonderful, in many ways she reminded me of Blackadder‘s Queen Elizabeth, but I also felt a little sorry for her and her constant competition with her younger sister, The White Queen, whom everyone loves.

And Alice herself is actually interesting instead of being a slightly spoiled girl[1] who simply wanders about Wonderland getting into trouble and falling out of it, here she actually takes action and makes decisions. She is a more grown-up version, so that may be part of it I suppose.

And all the madness you might hope for is present and correct. From Johnny Depp’s wonderful Mad Hatter to the crazy world of Wonderland itself. It’s just great.

The one part I had trouble with was the real world setting. It just didn’t feel real to me. Especially the ending. Very slight Show Spoiler ▼

But that didn’t in the slightest overwhelm my enjoyment of the film. It’s just a pity that it may not do great business here because of the hassle between Disney & the cinema companies. If you get a chance you should go see it, its one for the big screen and the 3D glasses.

Other reviews: Cinema Autopsy ; Den of Geek.

Linknotes:

  1. at least thats how I remember her

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1 Response

  1. Martine says:

    Actually, this is an adaptation of Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland". Adaptations do not have to follow the story exactly. A remake, especially a good one, is supposed to be original. Its a retelling by a different writer after all. I liked the film. But maybe I was expecting too much from it. Its definitely a movie more easily enjoyed by children. Its not particularly deep. And from the very start, I found myself not much liking Alice. She has a pretty lousy sense of humor. Would anyone think its funny to have someone smirk at you, then when asked why they told you that they were imagining that the men and women had a big clothing swap? Or is the idea of painting flowers all that amusing? Nope. Its something an annoying child would say. But you have to pretend its cute in a six year old. You really don't when a 19 yr old is spewing pretentious garbage by the bucket. I almost felt sorry for Hammish. Would you marry a person that is sure to say six stupid things every day before breakfast? Her problem is pretty clear. Her dad spoiled her rotten. Now she thinks that she is smarter then everyone, and their rules shouldn't apply to her. She has mistaken being a ditz for having a good imagination. Its not a good sign (morally or mentally) when someone runs after a rabbit while someone else is telling them things they consider important. Its a sign of rudeness or of ADD. Maybe both. You can disagree with what you are being told, sure. But at least LISTEN.