Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Alice in Wonderland

When I was a child, I read Through the Looking Glass.  I found them confusing but loved the idea of a kind of inverted reality (although clearly I wasn't clever enough to know this and just liked the funny people).  I hated Alice.
When I was five I saw Disney's Alice in Wonderland. It gave me nightmares, repeatedly.

So when the huge advertising campaign for the new Alice in Wonderland I wasn't exactly thrilled. However, being down with the kids/up on the trends I finally got round to watching it.  The first thing that struck me was that she looked ill. Not slightly-drained ill but full on I'm-going-to-throw-up-no-please-help-I'm-fainting kind of ill. At times she was green. I'm very pale but if I ever look like that then I think that someone should put me out of my misery.
(CORRECTION) apparently, this was the look they were going for, I stand corrected.

Back to the the film... the first half hour was forgettably weird, like they had taken every English stereotype and misunderstood it, but once you get to Underland the story does, thankfully, pick up. The role of Alice is, in my opinion, superfluous, as she does very little but grow, shrink, look confused and act like a complete ninny. Saying that, the supporting cast (I feel terrible using the word supporting, but I can't think of a better one) carries the story and actually kept me interested.  The combination of Barbara Windsor, Alan Rickman and Matt Lucas is genius, whilst Helena Bonham Carter is a fantastically demanding Queen of Hearts.  In comparison the White Queen, i.e. Ann Hathaway is fantastically bland and dull, and I'm not quite sure why Hearts cards and White pawn check pieces are combined (explanations welcome). However the star of the show is undoubtedly Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter giving the character surprising depth in his portrayal, combined with his renowned bonkers humour.

Luckily, this film didn't give me nightmares, which, amazingly, marks it higher than Disney's original... Who would have guessed?

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