Saturday, October 16, 2010

Movie: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Title: Alice in Wonderland

Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover and Matt Lucas

The plot, in short:

Tim Burton’s highly stylized take on Alice’s tryst with Wonderland veers away from the Lewis Caroll’s masterpiece by a wide margin. Unlike the original, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) isn’t a little girl, traipsing wide eyed in Wonderland (or Underland as in this case) just in time for the famous tea party with rabbits in fancy waist coats. Here, Alice is an eighteen year old woman, nearly engaged and bored enough to escape into the Underland which she’d always dreamt about as a child. But, all is not well in her idyllic pasture as the tea party has a dilapidated appearance with the beautiful tea cups, chipped and the ambience in total shambles. Alice meets the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and a bevy of interesting characters like Dormouse (a feisty little mouse), Tweedles (Tweedledee / Tweedledum both played brilliantly by Matt Lucas), Abosolem (the caterpillar), a Cheshire Cat and March Hare. Alice discovers that Underland is controlled by the terrifying Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and she has to find the vorpal sword to kill the jabberwocky on Frabjous Day. With time running out, Alice has to defeat the evil queen and restore Underland to its former owner, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway).

Why I like it:

Slick and stylish, Burton’s Alice in Wonderland blows your mind away with its creative brilliance. Incredibly colourful, the scenes are vivid and Burton’s Underland is a beautifully mystic World with landscapes etched carefully to symbolize the mood of the moment. Burton’s fascination with the vintage Victorian era clearly continues in Alice in Wonderland, be it the costumes, creatures or ambiance. Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter steals the show with his intense portrayal of myriad emotions – from unpredictable rage to unbridled happiness. Mia Wasikowska matches Depp with an incredibly innocent performance as she turns from the gentle lady to a champion warrior. However, it’s Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen who plays the cruelly evil queen to perfection, displaying her quirky side with matchless √©lan. The supporting cast sufficiently backs the lead protagonists and the special effects bring Underland alive with a visual eloquence that casts a spell on your senses. Though predictable (inevitable, really) at patches, the screenplay by Linda Woolverton moves at an even pace backed by the awesome background score by Danny Elfman. Tim Burton recreates Alice in flamboyant tones, creating visually stunning pictures, adding flashes of his creativity to an ancient fable with enough chutzpah and cheek (albeit with a dash of abstract) to leave a lasting impression.


If you are a die hard fan of Lewis Caroll’s version of Alice in Wonderland, then Tim Burton’s highly stylized edition would leave you disappointed.

Watch it for:

Brilliant characterization, mind blowing special effects, an engrossing story, cheeky dialogues, stunning visuals and opulent landscapes take you to a whole new World where things are impossible only if you believe them to be.

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