Synopsis: The story of Alice in wonderland.
Release Date: March 5, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Fantasy, Adventure
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is the most anticipated movie thus far in 2010, does it live up to the hype?
Speaking purely visually, this film is a triumph. It is incredibly beautiful: every candy-colored corner of Wonderland is richly re-imagined with great textures, levels, and creepy undertones. Many of Lewis Carroll’s beloved characters are revamped to reveal their darker connotations; the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is perfectly insane and schizophrenic, the blue caterpillar (Alan Rickman) is amazingly literal, the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) is outrageous while offering a kind of subdued horror and the Cheshire cat (Stephen Fry) is haunting, amusing and oddly sympathetic.
The 3-D effects worked seamlessly to bring Wonderland to life inside the theater, however, it did at times cheapen the cinematography. Suffice it to say that Burton’s Alice, though marketed as a film for a wide range of audiences, is a visually appealing but simplistic children’s film.
Unfortunately, as much as the film impressed visually, it disappointed in substance. The plot was lackluster at best offering the audience no interesting arc of the story. Alice’s journey into Wonderland is set up through a frame story that gives the audience little insight into Alice’s character other than that she likes to speak her mind. After falling down the rabbit hole and arriving in Wonderland there is almost no establishment of the rules of this beautiful world.
We are immediately thrust into a journey that we care little about. Many of the characters truly fell flat here: Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Matt Lucas) were completely uninteresting, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) was frustratingly plastic and Alice herself was bland and void of subtlety. At all times, the audience feels somehow removed from the story because of a lack of development of the diegetic world and its characters, especially Alice.
From the starkly constructed “real” Victorian world to the zany, offbeat construction of Wonderland, the production design was remarkable. The Red Queen’s manicured garden never looked more menacing, the Mad Hatter’s tea table never looked more decrepit, and a Victorian garden party never looked so structured and conformist. Many of the sets in the film were digitally constructed which means that the bulk of the shooting was done on green screen.
In this, it is evident that the designers had a vision that superseded their limitations. The make-up artists and costume designer (Colleen Atwood) were successful in creating characters that really appeared as if they belonged in Wonderland. The Mad Hatter, with his neon colored mascara and contact lenses, and the Red Queen, with her enormous head and hair, could have existed nowhere else.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Tim Burton
- Producers: Suzanne Todd, Richard D. Zanuck, Linda Woolverton
- Cast: Johnny Depp (The Mad Hatter), Mia Wasikowska (Alice Kingsley), Helena Bonham Carter (The Red Queen), Anne Hathaway (The White Queen), Crispin Glover (The Knave of Hearts), Alan Rickman (The Caterpillar), Michael Sheen (The White Rabbit)
- Editor(s): Chris Lebenzon
- Cinematographer: Dariusz Wolski
- Production Designer(s): Robert Stromberg
- Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood
- Music Score: Danny Elfman
- Country Of Origin: USA