Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Not-So-Gentle (Re)Viewer: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

I saw this movie several weeks ago but never quite got around to writing about it because I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to say about it.  Yes, it's a Disney-fied Tim Burton, which tells you almost everything you need to know about the "feel" of the film.  The actors were fine, the costumes were fine, but the story was, in my opinion, not-so-fine.

While the original Lewis Carrol stories deal with a girl thrust into utter madness and changeability, Alice in Wonderland deals with a girl thrust in a stereotypical good-vs-evil combat, with Helena Bonham Carter playing the Red Queen and Anne Hathaway playing the White Queen.  (In addition, the final battle scene was a rip-off of The Golden Compass, which was a plagiarization of The Chronicles of Narnia, which was a pale imitation of The Lord of the Rings.  Not good.)

Burton apparently made this cliched storyline on purpose.  According to IMDB, "he attempted to create a framework, an emotional grounding, which he felt he never really had seen in any version before. Tim said that was the challenge for him - to make Alice feel like a story as opposed to a series of events."  I can understand that it's difficult to create tension in a storyline comprised of a series of minor events (I've spoken before about my problems reading Huckleberry Finn), but this storyline was so far from the original that it's a bit shocking they bothered to put the name "Alice" in the title at all.  The themes were lost, the point ruined.

Save your money, folks, although I'm pretty sure most of America's already thrown their dollars at Burton's feet.  I'm regretting the fact that I was one of them.


Cozy Book Nook said...

I'm don't care whether I ever see it or not but I will definitely wait for netflix if I do.


Lindsay-with-an-A said...

I wouldn't go out of my way, if I were you. Seriously.

Bethany said...

I was absolutely in love with this film. I've been in love with the entire idea of Alice and Wonderland since I was a very small girl (we're talking 3 years old and it was my obsession). I have countless editions of the book, including popup versions.

Tim Burton has also been my favourite director since I was around 6/7 years old. So, putting two together was the most exciting thing ever. First heard about the film in 2008 and was SO excited. I wasn't disappointed. I loved the entire feel of the thing and thought everything just looked so beautiful - so I wasn't criticising the story. I was just having fun.

So yeah, I enjoyed it - but I think I may be one of few people who will rave about it!

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

I felt the same way about Sherlock Holmes--it got mediocre reviews, but I LOVED it and can't wait for it to come out on DVD so I can watch it again.

Sometimes movies just hit the right note with me, but unfortunately this wasn't one of them. (Although I really like Sleepy Hollow, also by Burton and Depp, and apparently a lot of people hate that movie.)

I'm a film philistine, though, and am very happy to admit that. :)

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