Alice in Wonderland
Director Tim Burton takes us further down the rabbit hole than we have ever been with his new adventure of Alice in Wonderland based on characters from the books by Lewis Carroll.
It was well worth the wait. The combination of 3D, animation and live action is a tasty treat for your eyes to behold. You will be filled with wonderment at the Red Queen's bulbous head, her devout tin soldier army, terrified bullfrog servants and live monkey furniture. This is a familiar world we have been to full of old friends and new surprises.
Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is older now and although plagued with the same dream over and over again she doesn't remember ever being to a place called Wonderland. She is nineteen years old and overwhelmed with the pressures of what society expects of her. She has started to rebel in her own way by refusing to dress in a corset and stockings that a lady should wear or act according to the manners of how a lady should. When confronted with an embarrassingly public wedding proposal by a man she doesn't want to be with, she chooses to run away from the situation to follow a strangely familiar looking white rabbit wearing a waistcoat and carrying a wristwatch which seems to be telling her it is Her time. She follows the rabbit through a hedge and down the rabbit hole and the tale begins as the original story did with her drinking potions that make her small and cake that makes her big. Secret admirers watching from behind the door of what is now known as Underland are quickly confused at why she doesn't remember any of this from the last time. The movie quickly moves through a whirlwind of re-introductions as we meet Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Blue Caterpillar, the mystifying and always purring Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit and some new creatures we have never seen before.
Alice is quickly questioned by everyone if she could possibly be the same Alice as before. The Underland creatures and the White Queen have been waiting for her to return to be their champion. She is suppose to be their hero that fights the dreaded Jabberwocky whose death will annihilate the reign of the dreaded Red Queen who is more interested in beheading her patrons rather than ruling them. This was a very refreshing version of Alice that when later dressed in a suit of gleaming silver armour becomes a character likened to Joan of Arc who leads the people to justice and saves them against all odds. She is a girl who wants to be different. She is strong and although confused by her surroundings in the beginning she quickly becomes the adventurer that knows no bounds near the end. It is exhilarating to be with her on her journey of discovery and this movie provides a fantastic role model for all ages in finding the strength from deep within when faced with the impossible. Mia Wasikowska does a fabulous job playing the strong-willed Alice that will inspire and warm the hearts of many for years to come.
Johnny Depp's portrayal of the Mad Hatter is impeccable. This character has been done so many times in movies and theatre that it is always a difficult role to take on because it has been so typecast. The scene of the tea party alone is incredibly done as it is a roller coaster ride of happiness, madness, fear and optimism. The Mad Hatter used to work for the White Queen and is waiting for the rule of the Red Queen to be over. In the interim he has gone from being a kind of court jester to someone that has gone round the bend. He alone shows us his great sorrow, joy, confusion, regret and hope for a better day. He has been waiting for years at the same tea party for Alice to return and save them. Alice becomes his sanity anchor that keeps him grounded and gives him a purpose in life from that of making grand hats.