''This is impossible.''...''Only if you believe it is.''
19-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen's reign of terror.
Mia Wasikowska: Alice
So finally Tim Burton's Alice in wonderland(2010) is unveiled upon an eagerly awaiting audience. Hyped up as being imaginative, dark and intensely rich in diversity, but is it? Burton and Walt Disney have definitely put alot of work into this project with their respective team and cast members; Making for a splendid spot of family diluted entertainment.
Linda Woolverton worked on the screenplay and the film is loosely based on Lewis Carroll's books which I love and cherished from an early age.
Unfortunately, I did rather enjoy Alice in Wonderland although and despite of it being full of increasingly disturbing flaws. This is surely Burton's vision of wonderland but not how I envisioned this imaginative World. To it's credit, the cinematography by Dariusz Wolski subsequently the director of photography, does an epic job of bringing to life the vast land while the team of artists; Art Direction by Tim Browning, Todd Cherniawsky, Stefan Dechant,(supervising art director), Andrew L. Jones, Mike Stassi, and Christina Ann Wilson. They all succeed in bringing imaginative characters, buildings and forest drenched planes to life with visionary art.
Costume Design by Colleen Atwood also succeeds in being successfully imaginative and defines the characters on which they adorn.
The casting is of course full of acting talents aplenty. Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter however is not quite the surprise package I was expecting. Colour contacts, a Scottish accent, and a bizarre modernised dance routine destroyed any believability or respect I had for the character to begin with.
Anne Hathaway as The White Queen borders on annoyingly sickly, hands flapping in the air.
Mia Wasikowska as Alice was innocently successful in her performance maintaining the charisma, and strength she has in the books.
Stephen Fry voicing the Cheshire Cat was a particular favourite, as was Crispin Glover as Stayne: Knave of Hearts.
Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen was just plain weird.
Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum were simply hilarious. Only character I was disappointed with was the blue Caterpillar voiced by Alan Rickman. This character could have been achieved and brought to life in such a uniquely aspiring approach. Alas Burton neglected to achieve 3D fleshed out characters at times unlike the film, the project at times feels flat and incompetent, which for me is hugely frustrating because I just wanted to adore and love the affair.
Alice In Wonderland over all is a fun albeit at times confusing venture. It has humour, it has style, and it has Burton's stamp firmly asserted upon it's frame. For a Disney film some as expected may be scary for very young viewers but it's to be expected from such a dark story and the nature of Burton's film projects.
The narrative and structure of Alice is quite a complex journey, sometimes straying from it's source medium and then at other times constraining tightly to it's roots.
Strangely it sometimes feels like it's another Narnia spin off attempt at spinning a web. The Lord of the Rings trilogy had realism and fantasy at the same time. Let's face it, The Mad Hatter is never going to fill Gandalf's shoes. As with the Jabberwocky; The big beast nemesis, it's no Balrog.
Yet wherever Alice in Wonderland draws it's inspirations from it still retains a cute, epic sort of meandering while sometimes becoming diluted in trying to be too many mediums at once.
Overall, Burton and Disney have made a tribute to Lewis Carroll's books yet in their own visionary styles. I believe everyone that has read the stories will have interpreted the characters and locations in their own way, in their own imaginations. Yet this Alice in Wonderland won't be a universal taste for everyone. When I finished the film, the audience reaction was a mixed one; Some people were saying it was boring while others did not understand what they had just seen.
The break dancing routine by The Mad Hatter in one of the final scenes totally ruined it for me, as did the Avril Lavigne song Alice on the end credits. I mean this girl literally shouts the words on the main interlude of the song; Not nice.
Now that I think about it; Alice in Wonderland attracted alot of Emo types, when I was looking around the cinema. Again not good.
Alice in Wonderland; A good film just not a great one. Bursts of artistic temperament and some inspiring sequences. The rest just a confusing contorted waste of sickly sweet.