Alice in Wonderland Film Review

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FILM ONLY REVIEW

A young Alice has dreams, they are not ordinary ones, these dreams are of a magical place where nothing is as it should be, there is a talking and disappearing cat and a mad hatter who has a tea party and a nasty Queen of Hearts. She tells her parent of the dreams but they think nothing of them.

When Alice reached the age of 19 she is invited to a party only to discover that she is to be engaged, she needs time to think of the proposal so takes a walk only to fall down a hole. At the bottom of the hole she discovers that her dreams have come true and she has ended up in her own wonderland. She discovers that she has been taken there by the rabbit as they believe she is the Alice that has been there before and can help them rid the place of the nasty Queen. Alice is shocked and believes she is dreaming but with no way of getting home she has to help the animals.

Can Alice help her friends in Wonderland and will she every get home to answer her marriage proposal?

I must confess to the fact that I have never seen the original Disney version of this film so did not quite know what to expect from the film, the only real reason why I wanted to watch this was because it starred Johnny Depp and I am always pleased to watch him on screen. I did find the storyline was very good and not at all what I imagined it to be. I was expecting it to have a lot of bright colours and fun as it was originally a Disney film but we did not get this at all. I found it was all quite dark and dull to watch and all of the characters were actually quite depressed. The story was explaining to us that this is how Wonderland had once been and Alice had been asked back to get it back to this way. This was my first disappointment from the film.

My second let down was the lack of Johnny Deep, he played the role of the Had Hatter and he did this role excellently. I just needed to see more of him as he only starred for less than half of the film. He played the part brilliantly and he really came across as being mad. His eyes were a main factor in his role and he was able to get so many emotions and expressions across by just his eyes and it always amazes me how he can do this. He was a strong presence when on screen but I would have liked his character to have also been a little stronger. He worked well with the role of Alice and they had a good connection when on screen together. Alice was played by Mia Wasikowska and she did a good job. She was quite shy and quiet at the start of the film and it was nice to watch her grow and get stronger as the film went on.

Other good roles in the film included, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway and the White Queen and Crispin Glover as Knave of Hearts, they all bought very different characters to the story and made for some entertaining viewing.

 

There is a lot of animation in the film and I did think this was all made to a very high standard. It was not made to look like a cartoon but more of the real characters they create. The animated characters did fit effortlessly into the film and at times I did actually forget that they were not real. They were all bought to life by the voices which they were given and this helped with them being able to express themselves and get their emotions across. The main voices included voiceovers by Michael Sheen, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman and Barbara Windsor.

I did have an issue with the accent which Johnny Depp gave to the Mad Hatter, one minute he would have a Scottish accent and the next he had an American one, I did not like this at the start of the film but once I actually got to know his character and got into the story I just found it helped in making him look mad.

The setting for the story as I said before was quite dark and dull, the whole film really did lack colour and I found the appearance of the landscapes was quite strange and weird. The colour did improve slightly when we were in the Queen of Heart palace but this was the only real bright bit of the film. The setting for Alice before she went into wonderland was based in the 1930’s and I enjoyed this and thought they did a good job in getting this year across to us. The music was a good part of the film and I fond it all fitted in very well, it helped with the drama, tension and emotions of the story and made it slight easier to follow.

I am only reviewing the film so there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 108 minutes and the rate is a PG. I do advise caution when letting children watch this film as it is not the light Disney film we would imagine. The DVD can be bought for around the £10 price but it has been shown a lot recently on Sky movies.

I just wish I could give this film more than 3 stars but unfortunately I cannot. The story was good and so to was the acting and animation but for me it was lacking in the Disney magic and colour I was expecting. I do recommend this but do not expect too much as it was very over hyped. We also needed to see more of Johnny Depp on screen.

 

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