Saturday, March 13, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

The Flick: Disney Presents Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

The Talent: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, Ann Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Tim Piggott-Smith and the voices of Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Michael Sheen, Stephen Fry and many more

The Dealio: In this iteration of the Alice saga, there is a spark of feminism: poor Alice, who eschews corsets and stockings, is being forced to marry a dullard with (as his mom so delicately puts it) 'digestive problems'. Not to mention really, really nasty teeth. Rat teeth. Howsomever, everyone but Alice seems to feel that she needs must make this match and barter away any chance of being an independent, adventurous thinker-outside-the-box. Which is clearly her nature as well as her birthright: her father was exactly the same.
Long story short- and no need for spoiler alerts, I think- down a rabbit hole she tumbles and meets up with a resplendent cast of characters- oddly, they already seem to know her...and yet...she has no recollection of ever meeting them. More than one character says (here, I am paraphrasing, of course) 'Not again!'
Along the way through this story, we see the development, not only of character, but of strength and certainty and resolution in the person of yon Alice.

The Grading Session: 4.9888 pengies out of 5. (a tish off for the soundtrack which was...fine. But only just fine. Film people, I tell you and tell you, and yet, you persist in relegating the soundtrack to a secondary consideration. Why? OMG! Why!?).
This is a beaut of a film. I did see it in 3D which added a delightful dimension (pardon moi). But I do believe that, viewed in standard 2 D, this fillum would have been every bit as fun, as involving and as entertaining.
I am a total fool for the details, and I was won over immediately by the minutiae of this offering; I was especially enthralled by a throwaway scene: as Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter walked towards the window of the Red Queen's castle, he had a slight bit of lace extending from his left sleeve: and you could see how beautiful everything looked through that lace...when-really-what was going to happen was not beautiful at all. I also was mad for the sumptuous Caterpillar, who, wreathed in smoke, voiced by Alan Rickman, was delightfully nebulous and intriguing. Ditto the Cheshire Cat- the manner in which his appearances and disapperations were done was nothing short of wizard. Applause all around.
Let me make a confession here (please do not tell Tim Burton. So embarrassing!): I love love love his art direction so much, that I had to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas 3 times before I was actually able to absorb the storyline: I was so swept away by his artistry, that I kept going to the theatre to catch more and more of it. Only then was I able to say, 'Hey! Nice story, Tim'. Weird. OK. You can say it. I know.

Lessons Learned: Two: 2) Dogs. Will. Believe. ANYthing. And firstly: expect to see massive adaptations to the Alice rides at the various Disney theme parks over the next few months. Simply can not wait.

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