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:: Alice In Wonderland 2010

Tim Burton attempts to reignite one of the most celebrated stories of all time, by Lewis Carroll, in his adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. In a modern twist to the fable, Alice (played by Australian Mia Wasikowska) is a grown woman who is trapped in a world of etiquette and established conventions. The death of her beloved father brings her imagination to life where she dreams of the mystical place known as Wonderland which feels more real than her own world.

About to be proposed to by her partner Hamish (Leo Bill), Alice sees a mysterious white rabbit is a waistcoat. Giving chase, Alice falls down the hole into an abyss- much like the storyline- into an odd and mystical world. Once she enters Wonderland, she is greeted by the classic characters, including the White Rabbit, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Blue caterpillar and the Dodo who questioned whether she is the “right Alice”. Alice continues her journey through Wonderland and encounters the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) and the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) who are overjoyed that Alice can help end the Red Queen’s (Helena Bonham Carter) terror across Wonderland.

Within the first half hour, the plot is lost with so many twists and turn, odd phrases such as “Frabjous Day”, “Futterwacken” and “Jaberwocky”. The story line is hard to follow, at times incomprehensible, with wacky dance-offs and a slaying of a dragon – the film fails to hit the mark in story and narrative, although there is beautiful characterisation through costume, setting and aesthetics that is in true Burton style.

The most notable part of the film is the cast itself, including Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman – without them, the film would carry no real substance. Wasikowska’s performance is somewhat icy and despondent. However, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter give the most noteworthy performances. As the Red Queen, Carter is neurotic and Depp adds a humorous element as the Mad Hatter.

If you have come to see a classic remake of the original Alice in Wonderland, you may be in for a disappointment. It also may a bit too dark and Burton-esque for children. It is best reserved for those who truly enjoy Burton’s work.

DVD Extras

The Mad Hatter
Finding Alice
Effecting Wonderland