Saturday, March 06, 2010

Absolutely Alice

Tim Burton's latest piece of cinematic art is so much more than his usual gray films.

Alice in Wonderland was brilliant. Dark and curious, but full of life and story, more than Disney portrayed the last time it made an attempt at this film.

I have always assumed Lewis Carroll was a distant cousin of the Beatles, and that he was perhaps the inspiration for their submarine days. However, Burton paints a whole new picture of Alice and her world of nonsense. He shows us the analogy and the symbolism between Alice's two worlds and helps us see, through her eyes, how she intends to deal with both worlds in similar ways.

I have always said I'd like to eat lunch with these three people: Dustin Hoffman, Richard Nixon, and the third to be named later. The third man should be Lewis Carroll.

Burton makes Carroll's nonsense make sense.

Not only did he tell the tale of Alice beautifully, but he entwined the story with a poem of Carroll's, The Jabberwocky.

A favorite poem of mine when I was a kid, the Jabberwocky is the tale of a young child who is sent on a "right of passage" to slay the great beast.

While Burton's recalling of the two stories may not be exactly how they were originally written, I believe if Carroll were to see this movie, he would be extremely pleased with how his writings were portrayed.

The characters in the movie were some of the most fun I've seen in any film, much less a Burton film. Johnny Depp was brilliant. In my opinion, he has a tendency to take his eccentric characters well overboard, and they sometimes go past the point of enjoyment for the viewer. As the Mad Hatter, he did an excellent job of playing crazy, but believable.

Helena Bonham Carter was amazing, as usual. I always love her, and this experience proved no different. She's great at being evil, and still commanding your love as a viewer.

Anne Hathaway makes goofy look normal in her portrayal of the White Queen. Her mannerisms are lovable and laughable all at the same time, and she is nothing short of perfect in this role.

Mia Wasikowska was the part of this film I felt most indifferent about. She did a fine job as Alice, and she played her "muchness" well.

Without giving away the ending (which is original, I assure you), I will tell you that the heroes are named, the evil banished from Wonderland, and all set right. It is, after all, a Disney movie.

Go see it. You will not regret it. It is visually stimulating, emotionally fulfilling, and a story you will not easily forget. Oh, and don't take small children. It may be a Disney happy ending, but it's also a Tim Burton film.

So after all of that, I leave you with this:

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O Frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Enjoy Alice! Also, you should see it in 3D. Worth it.


119 said...
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E.T.'s Mom said...

I'd really like to leave an intelligent comment, but this whole post is over my head.