Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Alice in Wonderland Review

I've always disliked Alice in Wonderland.  Too creepy--I think it was that live action version that came out when I was a kid that really got to me.  Since it, I've avoided even the cartoon version.  Moo on the other hand read the book fairly regularly (if I recall correctly).  And she loved the cartoon version too.

So it was with no small amount of trepidation I went to see the Tim Burton/Disney  Alice in Wonderland

And loved it.

It's a fantastic movie.  Sure it's kind of creepy, but not nearly as much as I thought it would be. 

Though, let's be clear: I don't think it's a movie I'd take children to see.  There is some violence/scary stuff that I think would have taken its toll on me as a child.  So, proceed with caution if you're hauling kids to see it.  (Though, I think in a way it IS a child's movie: children deal with things they find truly scary (whether adults find the same things scary or not) as a matter of course  and enjoy reading about scary things in a make believe world because it mirrors their own reality--but whether your kid wants to watch a movie with those kinds of things, even in a make believe world, is another matter entirely).

But for was wonderful.  I love that I could be drawn into a story I didn't want to know more about, and that I thought I knew everything about, was surprising.  This movie took what I knew and added to it, making it a rich story I could enjoy being a part of. 

And there are three characters that really do that: Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts.  I don't know which I liked more. 

Alice has a sort of dreamy feel to her character--and I think the trip to Wonderland is the perfect proving grounds for her perception of herself.  She knows (or thinks she knows) what she is capable of, but everyone in "real" life and in Wonderland pushes her to do and be certain things she doesn't want to do or be.  And it is only through facing some truly scary things (scary because they aren't in the "real" world and don't follow the roles of Victorian England...and they're monsters, too, whether a beast, soldiers of cards, or people with evil agendas) that she finds she is Courageous and Smart and Capable.

The Mad Hatter is--wonderful.  I can't say more without spoiling things.

And the Queen of Hearts: she's evil but I loved her!  I loved her mannerisms, her cool heart sunglasses for croquet, and her petty temper.  Fabulous.

I loved the movie, I plan to watch it again.

Though, it has ruined one thing for me (I guess this really goes back to the Disney cartoon version, though this movie perpetuated it a little)...I can't take purple irises seriously anymore.  And my backyard has quite a few of them, and I took some pictures  for bragging purposes to share with you. 

I'd like to know what you thought about the movie--so leave a comment or two. --Lu


Carrie Nation said...

I loved the movie too. (Except for the incongruous dancing scene, but that's my not-so-humble opinion.) I usually don't like when movies change the books too much. This one, however, was never even trying to give us the book, and in that way, it made it even more brilliant. I absolutely loved Helena Bonham Carter (try watching Room With a View after the Queen of Hearts!!). And I loved the Mad Hatter too. And the cheshire cat. It was a very well-done movie, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Linus wrote something on his blog about it as well, if you're interested.

Callie said...

I totally agree with you! I loved the movie also! Sure wish I could have been sitting next to you when I saw it! Mad Hatter-BRILLIANT! That's all.

Lu and Moo said...

Carrie Nation: I agree wholeheartedly about the dance scene. The things the movie made me see about the characters made any stupid parts bearable for me (dance scene, the proposal is a bit over the top too...)

I read a fairly scathing review after I'd already posted--and the reviewer chastised the producer? director? (everyone!) for trying to out genius Lewis Carrol. I realized at that moment, that of course I wouldn't have noticed that kind of thing because I've never read the book (or wanted to).

And Callie: yes. yes. yes. I loved seeing the nobility in the mad hatter. We'll have to watch it together sometime.

jendoop said...

I loved it too. I didn't feel they were trying to out genius Lewis Carol, I thought it was a great homage to his works - much of which the general public is ignorant of. (Not like we fine educated folks :)

I also took my kids. They are 15, 8, and 7. It was a little scary but my kids, especially the male 7 yr old, are fascinated by bizarre scary things. (He's been really fascinated with the Loch Ness Monster, even quizzing his grandparents when they came to visit.) This movie was great for my kids because Alice was scared and so sure she wasn't the one to face the Jabberwocky but then she did it. (Girl Power!) I think it has a good message that you can overcome things you are scared of, even if they're make believe. (Not that I'm saying the Loch Ness Monster is make believe, I'd never want to say such an impossible thing before breakfast!)

i3lh4m said...

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