Thursday, 18 March 2010

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

I'm not sure what to think about this one. I think my one, general reaction is; I'm underwhelmed.
"Alice in Wonderland" is such a huge and quirky world, there's so much to work with, so much to build from, and this film just isn't creative.

It seems to be targeting people that have some idea of what Alice in Wonderland is, having maybe seen the disney (animation) version many years ago, but not read the books or know the story.
It also tries, like so many films lately, to cater to both children and adults, but fails to find a middle ground. I would not take young children to see this film.
If you take away the wonder aspect and just look at the film, it's a very standard fantasy/action film with all the usual elements; growing up, finding themselves, moral (being special is what makes you great), great big monster to fight, tasks to overcome and a romantic interest.
Besides the "young girl making her mark in a time where women shut up and act pretty" theme, the film doesn't bring much new to the fantasy genre.
Looking at it from a wonder aspect, there's so much more that could have been done. I want surrealism, I want quirky, I want mad! I don't want a hatter that's practically normal and a queen that's just evil.

It's also sad because the (supporting) cast is a.m.a.z.i.n.g! Crispin Glover, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman, Christopher Lee.. *swoons* I'm also fond of Mia. She's a good actor, and it's nice to see an actress that's normal pretty looking, instead of a model beauty. I also think Anne Hathaway does a good job with the role she's been given. she's obviously been told to play a queen that's over-acting. The "real" white queen shine through a few times, though not really enough to show us who she really is.

Johnny Depp on the other hand.. I love Depp, he's a master of quirky characters, but I have to agree with others; we've seen this one before. I would have liked less Jack Sparrow and more Willy Wonka.

I didn't hate the film, by no means, I'm just, disappointed. Again, I seem to be disappointed with the lack of imagination and surrealism. And I hated, hated, HATED the romantic sub-plot!

I'm also seeing a worrying trend with Tim Burton's later films. It's becoming more and more Burton, and less about the original material. I love you Burton, I love your vision, your art direction, but you're starting to put a bit too much of yourself into your films. I want to see a real Tim Burton original again, written, directed, even produced by you, where you can really go all out and show us who you are. Just don't do it with a source material a lot of us love.

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