Saturday, March 6, 2010

Toto, We're Not In Kansas Anymore....Oh Wait, Wrong Movie

Tim Burton is known for oddities, hiring a revolving door of the same cast members (Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter), and has directed the latest adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, in theaters now. I went into the theater last night prepared for his version of madness to be paired with Lewis Carroll's timeless tale of ludicrousness.

Happily, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It's star shines brightly in Mia Wasikowska as Alice. She is a bit of a curious and dreaming girl but grows into her own stronger sense of self as she throws off the mantle of the conforming and traditional woman of the times. She can make the impossible a reality (especially when she realizes she isn't dreaming).

The ever shifting balance of proportion was more than amusing to watch as Alice shape shifted from a towering giant to the size of a mouse. In the original animated version, Alice's clothing shrunk and grew as she did but this was not the case in this film. She was constantly having to have new outfits tailored for her through out the show. I was delighted to see what came next.

Classic characters such as the Cheshire Cat were more of a special effect character but proved to be as tricky and squeezable as he was in the original film. With his over sized and toothy grin he seems not to be trusted yet when he twists and turns in the air and kneads his claws he is fuzzy and quite authentically catlike.

It only seemed quite natural that Alice should be the champion of the film and don the armor (which made her resemble some sort of Joan of Arc character - strong, yet feminine).

Another outstanding character was the white queen played by Anne Hathaway. I couldn't get enough of her darkly stained lips, black eyebrows and dark eyes all paired with alabaster skin, hair, and clothing. She was stereotypically graceful and comedic at the same time. Seeing her mix the special potion with the rancid list of ingredients was amusing to say the least.

See the film and try to look past all the over used faces and you will find a gem of a film with amazing special effects. It is filled with crazy, over the top characters that we all remember from the animated version but have been dramatically altered with fantastic results.

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