Alice In Wonderland
Rated PG for violence and thematic elements
My Rating: 5 Stars
Helena Bonham Carter
I find the varying opinions on this movie to be amusing. I love this movie and my best friend can't stand it. (We're still friends, btw. ;-)) It is interesting how people do not 'kind-of-like' or 'kind of don't like' this story... they either hate it or love it.
Alice Kingsley has been having bad dreams as long as she can remember. Well, to be factual, one bad dream. Over and over. It's about a blue caterpillar, a Cheshire cat who smiled incessantly and a strange place that she has forgotten the name of. When she was a child, her father would comfort her when she would wake up from her dream but as the days drew on and the years passed, he died and left her and her mother feeling unsettled and at loose ends.
Mad Hatter: "You used to be much... muchier. You've lost your muchness."
Alice became so muddled and unsure of who she was that one fine day, she found herself at her own (surprise) engagement party where she was expected to accept the marriage proposal of Hamish Ascot. But she wasn't sure she wants to marry Hamish, even though he is a lord (and her pretty face won't last). She looks at all the guests gathered around the gazebo, awaiting her 'yes' ... and abruptly runs away, after a rabbit in a waistcoat.
Alice: "The decline of the aristocracy?"
Lady Ascot: "Ugly grandchildren."
Through the rose garden, behind the shrubs, over the fields and up a hill, the White Rabbit leads her on until quite suddenly, he disappears down a hole at the base of a tree. Perplexed, Alice leans down to see where he went. Her hand slips and Alice disappears too, plunging her head over heels into the vast darkness. With a shriek of terror, she falls... down, down, bouncing off pianos, books and feather beds, her hair tumbling around her face, until she finally lands on her face at the bottom.
In the very famous sequence of events, Alice finds the door, the key, the shrinking drink and growing cake and finally manages to extract herself from the room... entering into a world of magical creatures. Talking flowers, said rabbit in waistcoat, feisty doormouse and, of course, Tweedledee and Tweedledum; but they aren't interested in introductions. Much to her confusion, there seems to be some debate about whether she is the 'right Alice' or not. "How can that be?" she asks. "It's my dream!" But no, they must consult Absolem and off the Tweedles lead her with the White Rabbit and the other creatures trailing behind.
Blue Caterpillar: "Who are you?"
Blue Caterpillar: "You're not Absolem. I'm Absolem. Stupid girl."
The verdict was that she was "not hardly" Alice and they all gather around our poor heroine with such pained looks that she grows irate and pinches herself to wake up. It doesn't work. The doormouse offers a jab in the foot with her wee sword and Alice accepts the offer, thankfully. But in the middle of these proceedings, they are rudely interrupted by a surprise attack from the Red Queen's soldiers. Most of her companions are captured and carried away but Alice manages to escape. Though escape to where she is not sure.
This is when, after a brief moment of vapors, Cheshire Cat appears with his ceaseless grin and droll voice and manages to persuade Alice to accompany him to the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. Ironically, in face of madness, life begins to be sane again and our Alice has the chance to find herself. But whether she takes that chance or not is an entirely different matter.
March Hare: "Spoon!"
What I Liked:
1: Even though this story is pure fantasy, I was able to relate to it and learn from it.
2: The acting was simply amazing.
3: The score was beautiful and one I definitely want to own someday!
4: I dislike Hamish with my entire heart. Bravo, Leo Bill. ;-)
5: This may sound contrary to the genre of fantasy, but I must say it: so many details were looked after to make this story as realistic as possible. Their efforts paid off.
6: Mia was a wonderful choice for Alice. She made the movie. The other actors were really wonderful as well (great cast!) but without the right Alice, there is no magic.
7: That although this movie is completely safe for kids to watch, there is enough substance to keep adult audiences watching in enjoyment.
8: How it discourages marrying for something other than love.
9: The message of hope.
10: Production quality is 10 or more stars. Very well done.
Doormouse: "Chess, you dog!"
Things to Know:
The message of this movie is about finding your place in life. It is a message of hope to those who feel trapped in their lives and their place in their world. You do not have to fill the role society has dictated. However, if the viewer comes with the idea that women are better than men, they may come away from this film gloating. Lol! As with all films, watch with discernment. :-)