Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Alice in Wonderland 2010 - Review

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.The Jabberwock, with eyes aflame, Jaws that bait and claws that catch, Beware the Jabberwock, my son, The frumious Bandersnatch He took his vorpal sword in hand The vorpal blade went snicker-snack He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back.

Alice In Wonderland. An odd movie, but then again I expected that having grown up with the cute little Disney cartoon where baby clams sleep in their beds and flowers with faces sing. Doorknobs protest when twisted and purple cats that sound like Winnie the Pooh grin maddeningly until they turn into a crescent moon.

But this Alice is typical Timothy Burton--dark and melancholy--yet still manages to maintain the wonder of the colorful 1951 version.

I liked it.

Burton, according to IMDb, never felt an emotional connection to the other Alice in Wonderland films out there. They all seem to be about a girl wandering around from one crazy character to the other, which is actually what the original books by Lewis Carroll are about. "So with this," says IMDb, "he attempted to create a framework, an emotional grounding... Tim said that was the challenge for him--to make Alice feel like a story as opposed to a series of events."

This, gentle writers, results in a clear character arc. Alice starts out as one person, but becomes another. Thank you, Mr. Burton, for taking the general nightmare of Alice's life and making it mean something.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. The plot makes sense, the arc is clear, and there are no singing flowers, although they do complain a lot.

In the premise, as alluded to in the various movie trailers, (so I don't think I'm giving anything away,) Alice has returned to Underland. She doesn't remember, of course, because she was a child and thought it all a dream. With this knowledge, the Mad Hatter knew the younger version of Alice. Now, however, he's not impressed with the nineteen-year-old that has fallen through the rabbit hole. Following is key dialogue to Alice's growth:

The Mad Hatter: You're not the same as you were before. You were much more..."muchier." You've lost your "muchness"
Alice Kingsley: My "muchness"?
The Mad Hatter: [Points to Alice's heart] In there.

I love that line. "You've lost your muchness." Words to live by.

Do go see this movie before you are late for a very important date--the day Alice moves on into DVD land.

No comments: