Alice in Wonderland

Directed by the weird and wonderful Tim Burton, starring the usuals, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Including some other, simply fantastic, British talent; Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas and Timothy Spall. 

As usual Tim Burton creates massive twists on a classic story and it works, to an extent. We first meet Alice in a flashback of her talking to her father about Wonderland, to which he declares her 'mad' but that 'all the best people are'. Obviously this sets the scene and we jump to a present day Alice, her father now passed away. She's all grown up and seems to be at her own engagement party that she didn't even know about. She starts seeing the White Rabbit and follows him, when she falls down a rabbit hole.  At first when Alice arrives in Wonderland I have to say I was really confused about the whether she was the real Alice or not, well done Burton as I think that was the desired effect (Alice didn't think she was the right Alice). We then are obviously overwhelmed by Wonderland for the majority of the rest of the film. 
I was very impressed visually; the mix of colours, animation and the real actors/actresses. The best part is that it all fitted together in, a somewhat distorted, harmony. It was all a bit confusing at some points with just the sheer madness of the plot, half the time you don't know whether you're coming or going! It really is mad. The part that I wasn't that impressed with was the ending. The whole film had built up to Alice 'slaying' the Jabberwocky and saving Wonderland from the Red Queen, yet the fight scene just didn't seem to pack the punch. It was all a bit of a let down! It became very distracting cutting from Alice and foe, to the cards fighting, the Hatter fighting, and when she finally kills the beast, the head just rolls down some steps! Not convinced...
After this she returns to reality where I don't think it gets any better either, just all a bit muddled, it seemed a little rushed in my opinion. 
The film looks to be communicating messages of following your dreams and listening to your heart, as she rejects her marriage proposal (which everyone expected and wanted her to accept) and went to carry on her Dad's legacy. The very last shot is of her boarding the boat and a newly hatched Butterfly (the Caterpillar from Wonderland) lands on her shoulder, reminding her that Wonderland was never a dream, it was reality.

I have to say the casting of pretty much all the characters were simply spot on. I honestly wouldn't change any of Burton's choices! Bonham-Carter is as mad as always, perfect for the red queen, Depp a fabulous Hatter. I think my favourite character had to be the Cheshire Cat. Stephen Fry's voice fitted perfectly, the grin, everything! He was just so enticing! The only casting I didn't like was that of Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. She seemed to lack substance, it felt like she was acting her character, not becoming her. 

Take a look at the Cheshire Cat's cheeky grin in the trailer!

Apart from the ending and Hathaway, I do think that this was a thoroughly good film, Burton trade mark is firmly stamped on this piece. The visuals and casting of the film I think have to be my favourite things about the film. 
3.5 Stars


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