Friday, October 21, 2011

Alice in Wonderland

By s. Friday, October 21, 2011 , , , , , ,
(108 min, 2010)
Director: Tim Burton

Linda Woolverton (screenplay), Lewis Carroll (books)
Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter

Rescued by rabbits, cats and queens. 

What a disappointment. I've always said "Alice in Wonderland" is a dream material for Burton. Lately it seems that balls are falling off the great directors - first Jackson did "The Lovely Bones", so sweet it made me want tovomit with candies and pink ponies and now this. Burton clearly was not thinking a lot about his own movie or he suffered some major head trauma because his Alice bounces from usual grotesque and morbid scenes to completely childish resolutions and cartoonish, silly sequences. In the effect it is a movie....for nobody. Adults will find it too silly, kids will find it too scary, Burton's fans won't like the art direction which is so tacky and vulgar my eyes were hurting - and since it was in 3D used maybe in 5 scenes, my eyes were REALLY hurting.
There is no atmosphere - nothing is fascinating, everything is just...fake. Jabberwocky was embarrassingly poorly done, the creatures were animated in a very rookie way and the whole thing was just...painful to witness.

Having said that, the dialogues are sublime and the tea party sequence is the most insane and fantastic thing since 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'. The entire audience went nuts along with the characters - nobody could comprehend what the characters are talking about and what is going on.

The actors were great too - Rickman made fantastic caterpillar, Michael Sheen was absolutely adorable as the white rabbit - god, I could just hold him and never let go, Depp was fine, but the whole weird romantic tension between Mad Hatter and Alice - Burton was never good in portraying chemistry - even in 'Big Fish' we sorta have to believe the words the characters are saying - we don't see their love, Depp on the other hand never has chemistry with women - maybe this will change next year when we see him alongside Angelina dynamite Jolie in 'The Tourist'. However he is very suggestive and there was something incredibly eerie and disturbing in Alice/Hatter relation. But apart from that his make up is awesome, but by the end of the film...well clearly Disney holds Depp very close to money chest and he will do anything for the studio. That dance reminded me of Slumdog's ending and that's never a good thing. Mia Wasikowski was good as Alice, but there is not a single drop of passion, energy or charisma in that girl. But her looks were ok and she did interesting job.
The best ones in the show are the queens - Red one, played with a lot of force by director's muse and always lovely Helena Bonham Carter and the best one in the whole movie - Anne Hathaway as the white one. She stole the show, she was absolutely fantastic and hilarious. She played crazy vegetarian, not so much walkiing as floating, dealing with disgusting things and showing her disgust but underneath all of that her love and compasion for all things on Earth. She looked incredible and created one of the most memorable characters to appear in Burton's film. I also loved Stephen Fry as the floating, disappearing Cheshire Cat.
The music by the always terrific Danny Elfman is memorable and main theme is very good. The movie is lovely, but it could have been so much more. But the actors...ah, it's a real treat to see their performances here.

1 comment:

  1. I really took to Alice in Wonderland when I saw it last year, and couldn't really get why it got so much stick.

    Sure, Burton has remained in his safe-familiar bubble for years now, but I like his style, and minus Planet of the Apes, will stick up for everything else he has done. (Though Charlie and the Chocolate Factory I can live without.)

    Thank you for the follow by the way! Your blog is great!