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Alice in Wonderland Review

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Earlier on today, TheDailySnitcher staff member Stefan Marseglia saw the Alice in Wonderland movie, due for release on March 05, 2010.


"Malice in Wonderland?" "Um in Underland?" Whatever you decide to call Alice and her latest adventure for Tim Burton’s adaptation, be prepared to relive your childhood through a menagerie of colourful 3D characters including the White Rabbit, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Mat Hatter and the Cheshire Cat.

Based on Alice’s return to the place known as "Underland," which she mistakes as “Wonderland” on her first visit, Burton explores the Victorian social issues and power relations with gender through the character of Alice. With marriage proposals and the concepts of class and status beginning the movie, Burton allows Alice to re-explore the mysterious domain through the well-known White Rabbit for a whole host of other issues to take precedent.

Despite the movie seeing Alice return to the adventure as a young adult aged 19, you would also be mistaken in viewing the movie as an adaptation of Carol’s original novel, due to Burton blending old, such as the bottle labelled DRINK ME and the iced cake with EAT ME on top, to new.

Identity plays a key theme in the movie with Burton illustrating throughout what it means to be young and finding oneself. Raised with the question from the outset if the Alice which has entered the Underland domain is actually “the one,” the audience will be kept guessing until the end with the ultimate feat of slaying the Red Queen’s jabberwocky.


The Red Queen


Burton truly has been able to portray the human longing to know what it is that we want out of live; through incorporating the values of strength, confidence and self-assurance into Mia Wasikowska’s portrayal of Alice, you may leave feeling empowered to change your own life for the better. While Wasikowska’s acting is a little dry to begin with, it certainly does improve to give the finale the icing on the cake.

With the movie’s action-packed storyline slowly creeping along to get to the fighting duel finale between Iracebeth the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and her younger sister Mirana the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), you may be left a little disappointed as the protagonist is able to slay the day the same way one can easily slice into a slab of butter. Yet, such disappointments are forgiven through the acting by all the characters which help you to stop seeing red the same way Iracebeth does.

"Off with her head" is a catchphrase that everyone can associate to Alice’s adventure and Bonham Carter is able to capture her character’s fearfulness with ease. Through combining humour with fear, as seen with her twice-as-large head, the audience is left with the impression that the Red Queen is someone who is misunderstood despite her villainous facade; such views are reinforced through the finale where empathy towards her character can be felt.

Even though Alan Rickman does not feature in the movie in person, his character of Absolem the caterpillar will certainly allow you to forget as such, since his humorous yet wise presence fills each scene and with instances such as “you stupid girl” you will be left with the feeling that Severus Snape has accidently joined the movie. Yet, with such humour being balanced by moving speeches about the meaning of life near the end of the movie, the audience are able to see another side to Rickman which his typecast to Snape does not allow.


The Cheshire Cat


Along with darkness and horror come their counterparts of love and family and Timothy Spall’s portrayal of Bayard the Hound is proof in the EAT ME pudding. Through working for both ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ the audience are left with the internal struggle over whether Bayard will side with the White Queen or Red Queen in the end.

Such struggles are ultimately forgotten about by Stephen Fry’s adaptation of the Cheshire Cat. With this reviewer once playing such a part in a school play, Fry’s voice is by far a better picture to this cat’s disembodied head that first appears to Alice in Tulgey Wood after she’s been attacked by the vicious Bandersnatch.

For a filmmaker such as Burton being known for creating fantastical and breathtaking onscreen worlds, Alice in Wonderland is certainly no different. With the image of Wonderland being bright and cartoony raining true for many, Burton’s adaptation allows such preconceptions to be turned around.

As the movie can be seen as a sequel to Alice’s first visit, the world that is revisited has an air of oppression and reality to it, due to the rule by the Red Queen. Burton’s Underland is in decline, drained of colour and vitality under which art director, Todd Cherniawsky, illustrates is down to a photograph taken during World War II of a British family having tea outside their estate.




Yet a lack of colour in the settings is not what rings true for the fashion and make-up used. With the movie inspiring a host of real-world fashion, from Donatella Versace’s Spring/Summer 2010 runway collection, to accessories by Stella McCartney, to jewellery by world-renowned designer Tom Binns, to one-off dresses from Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela and Ann Demeulemeester, it appears Alice’s legacy will long live on after the movie finishes on the Big Screen.

Similarly, from Johnny Depp’s bright clown-like make-up complimenting his creature-like ginger eyebrows and shaggy hair, to the Red Queen’s bright blue eye shadow and Alice’s pale complexion, Valli O’Reilly has really spearheaded the makeup for the film.

Alice in Wonderland is set to hit cinemas on March 05, 2010 and with a whole host of top-notch British actors it is set to be a "must see" for 2010.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 February 2010 14:05 )  


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