Movie Review: Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

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I never really liked Alice in Wonderland when I watched it as a child. I thought it was a very curious film out of all Disney animations I followed. I was used to having a damsel in distress and the knight in shining armor – however hideous he may be (Beauty and the Beast) or if the damsel was a mermaid. It didn’t have the makings of a perfect fairy tale. Now, years later, I realized that wasn’t Lewis Caroll’s intention at all. Years after I watched the animated version, I read the book. I found that the author’s deep devotion was in the characters. Everyone was as interesting as the next that the story really didn’t matter.

Seeing the characters brought to life (in 3D at that) was amazing. Nobody I think has ever attempted to translate a very visual piece of literature into the big screen. Tim Burton did just that, as well as adding more plot to an originally character-driven story. Johnny Depp was pleasingly accurate as always. It’s one of the reasons why I have to watch this movie – be it a disappointment or otherwise. I very much feel like Depp is reason enough. Mia Wasikowska, who played Alice Kingsley, also made me believe that she was the real Alice – in the acting sense. I would imagine her to be just as she was – rebellious yet polite – and not so annoying compared to Caroll’s Alice, who was 9 years younger in the book. Anne Hathaway was too fun to watch with the constant gliding and unexpected facial twitches. You don’t expect the White Queen to be perfect – certainly not in Underland. Oh, and the effects were fantastic. I was thrilled to see the blue caterpillar and more delighted to hear him as Alan Rickman taking a break from Severus Snape’s usual voice of doom. The Cheshire cat looked like Garfield on some really funky drugs, I loved it.

It was a very special trip down the rabbit hole memory lane. As a child I thought the whole idea was too weird to grasp. Little did I know that what Alice did in Wonderland was not so different from what I did growing up. It’s a story of self-discovery more than anything. In the midst of the madness around you, you have to know who youare. And sometimes you’ll find there’s always a bit of crazy in everyone – even yourself.

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