Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in WonderlandAlice in Wonderland

Watching Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" is like immersing oneself in a compendium of almost every fantasy tale you can think of. Using the frame of "Hook" (realworld grown-up gets drawn into a fantasy world of their youth), the main narrative of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (reluctant hero must save fantasy land from tyrannical queen), the doubt of Thomas Covenant (hero must believe in the reality of the Land) and bits and pieces of George and the Dragon, Excalibur, "Spirited Away", to mention but a few, the movie somehow manages to lose sight of one of the greatest stories of them all; "Alice in Wonderland". And in its maniacal determination to appeal to a new audience by speeding ahead with its derivative narrative, it forgets to develop any characters, apparently trusting to our previous love of the original books' cast. You can't have it both ways. If you want to appeal to an audience unfamiliar with the more leisurely and cerebral delights of Carroll's original stories, you can't also depend on their familiarity to flesh out 'iconic' characters. It's a disappointing mess of a movie with Burton squandering what should have been a golden opportunity to shine in a genre he is meant to excel at.
And what's with "Underland"??????????? Going from 'Wonder' to 'Under' pretty much sums up the movie.
Curiouser and curiouser.

P.S. Some quarters may have thought Burton would bring a 'darker edge' to the tale. Well, if that's what you want see Jan Svankmejer's 'Alice' (still gives me nightmares) or the Dennis Potter scripted 'Dreamchild' (creepy in far too many ways to mention;could have sworn I already wrote on this).

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