Alice in Wonderland; A Film Review

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Alice in Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton, is very loosely based upon the book by the same name written by Lewis Carroll. Set several years after the book Alice, portrayed by Mia Wasikowska, running away from the real world, finds herself following the White Rabbit and falling back into Wonderland. In the years between Alice’s first visit the Red Queen has overthrown the White Queen and Wonderland has descended into tyranny and ‘Underland’ is in ruin. The Rabbit, Tweedledum & Tweedledee, The Mad Hatter & March Hare and the Dormouse have been search for Alice to restore the White Queen to her throne.

One of the many guaranteed things about Tim Burton is his casting of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, and Alice in Wonderland is no exception, despite the film following Alice through her journey in Wonderland, Johnny Depp is titled for some reason as the lead actor. Joining the cast is Stephen Fry (Cheshire Cat), Christopher Lee (Jabberwocky), Matt Lucas (Tweedledum & Tweedledee), Alan Rickman (Caterpillar), Michael Sheen (White Rabbit), and Barbara Windsor (Dormouse). Together is it a very impressive cast that does just work. The acting from Mia Wasikowska seemed very uncomfortable at first, however as the film went on she did seem to grow into her role as Alice.

A lot of emphasis was put on the film being in 3d, rather than being shot using the 3d cameras, as Avatar was, the 3d effects were added later on in post production. Personally I really wasn’t convinced it needed it, at many points it just didn’t feel like it was in 3d, I don’t think I would of missed much if I had seen it in just 2d!  That said one of the ideas that was used was as Alice went further and further into Wonderland and began to believe it more and more so the 3d increased, it was a nice addition.

My main gripe with the film was the actual plot, rather than taking the story written by Lewis Carroll, Linda Woolverton who did the screenplay, has just lifted the characters out of the books, taken their physical attributes and some of their personality and written a completely new story.  The film isn’t ‘Alice in Wonderland’, it is more ‘Alice returns to Wonderland’.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t going in with to high expectations, however I was pleasantly surprised by it, while I would of loved Tim Burton to take the actual story of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, this sequel wasn’t bad! On my star rating system it is a solid 4 star film, it’s not perfect, but it was enjoyable!

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