During the festive season (Merry Christmas by the way) I have been taking advantage of the epicness of Christmas television. A whole variety of films have been on including Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.
Quite an intriguing movie, sort of a combination between Middle Earth, Narnia and Horton hears a who. It stars many familiar figures such as Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter), Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour in Harry Potter), Alan Rickman (Snape in Harry Potter) Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew in Harry Potter) and Stephen Fry (who narrates the Harry Potter audio books). The film is set 19 years after Alice visits Wonderland where she has convinced herself that the whole experience was a dream. So much so that when she again falls down a rabbit hole into a mystical land she believes she is dreaming.
She finds Wonderland a changed place in the grips of the Red Queen. The surviving inhabitants have had to flock together, trying to find the one person who can rid them of this evil (and so creature called a Jabiwoki). Director Tim Burton has a history of taking nice little children’s stories and darkening them to the point that they are nearly ruined (Charlie and the chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach). This film was no exception. Burton has managed to create a world of disarray and avid rulers out of a simple children’s story. But there’s nothing wrong with that is there?
So Alice wanders around Wonderland talking to rabid rabbits, talking Caterpillars and a dog. She also meets the famed ‘Mad Hatter’, someone who I believe was given far too much screen time (however I suppose when you pay for Johnny Depp you have to over-use him). To pad the film out a bit, Burton has Alice sneak into the deadly Red Queen’s castle to get some silly sword that she needs (although I would have thought any sword would do). Then she runs off The Red Queen’s sister – The White Queen (is it possible to wear any more white makeup than that women does?)
At the end of the film there is a minor battle on a chessboard where Alice kills the Jaberwok-thing and The Mad Hatter gets someone on the floor and foolishly doesn’t kill them.
Not a very good, convincing or well-thought-through storyline, made worse by my own terrible summery of it. However this film has a little something that really makes you want to keep watching it. Maybe it is the dystopian feel of Wonderland, maybe the characters or maybe the creepy atmosphere surrounding the story.
The best performance in the film was that of the Red Queen – played by Bellatrix Lestrange Helena Bonham Carter. If anyone said that she got the part because she’s Tim Burton’s wife then they are lying. She was amazing (you know she plays mad people so convincingly that maybe this is suggesting something).
All in all; intriguing but, nope just intriguing.