Hats off: everybody’s crazy about Alice

9 03 2010

I have always been in awe of Tim Burton and the films he makes. As such, it is no wonder that his latest offering, Alice in Wonderland, much anticipated the world over, has been such a box-office hit. And I am quite fond of it too, although I believe that my stating that obvious fact is by no means whatsoever even necessary.

I went to see the film in 3D last Saturday. One word: WOW. I was busy writing a letter yesterday to Mr Jack Daniels, telling him about my experience of the film. In it I wrote: “That’s probably all I should say, as I want to blog about it, and yet I’ll probably ramble off a bit her, as per usual” – and I did. It gave me quite a bit to think about, and it also allowed me to ‘relive’ some of the scenes, enjoying them long after my eyes had taken in all their splendour from the silver screen.

(1) I think that Alice is far, far too pale. Mundanely so. Still, Mia Wasikowska is to play Jane Eyre in the 2011 film version, which is currently in pre-production, and I can definitely see her in that role. During my 3rd year at university, as well as my 4th year (Honours), Jane Eyre was one of our prescribed novels. I look forward to seeing how Miss Mia carries herself; she certainly looks the part.

(2) Alice’s older sister is lovely, although I cannot fathom how she would marry someone like that two-timing husband of hers – just by looking at him, you know that he’s supposedly so dashing, that he can get away with frolicking about behind his wife’s back. Of course, it’s supposed to add to the plot, as well as general notions of marriage back in the day. After all, Alice is told that she is nearly 20, and she still hasn’t wed… Oh, and I love the fact that her sister also wears a blue dress.

(3) Burton took a clever angle on the film, not only by going into the future, but also having Alice not remember her adventures in Wonderland when she was but 6 years old.

(4) If the Mad Hatter was hatter to the White Queen, why was he her hatter (?) – she wears a crown, after all… unless his duties extended beyond that of mere hatter… And when, exactly, did he go mad? He’s already referred to as mad during Alice’s 1st trip to Underland, but if he was still in the employ of the White Queen, why did they call him mad? It’s a little bit confusing… Perhaps it has something to do with that blasted eternal tea party. I really must read the books again.

(5) Things are a bit mixed up in the film. The Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts is not the same person, and yet they are often mixed up/ substituted in adaptations. The Queen of Hearts is the one who shouts “off with their heads!”, and plays croquet, and has the deck of cards as her minions/army (which explains why the Red Knave/ Knave of Hearts is her first-in-command, if you want to look at it in that way). Still, I suppose there is no harm done in having her be just the Red Queen in the film. Many people haven’t read Lewis Carroll’s books on Alice, so film-goers will hardly give a right royal either way.

(6) Speaking about the Red Queen’s army, the cards – they look absolutely phenomenal in the film! True Burton style, due to the dark eeriness, with a hint of the bizarre. Rough, menacing, not to be messed with – as jaded and coarse as Underland has become since the Red Queen’s reign.

(7) If I understand correctly, the Red Queen took over Underland (which is what Alice calls Wonderland) sometime after Alice’s first visit there. If that is the case, why did the White Queen never attempt to get her throne back? Oh, wait, that’s right, she doesn’t hurt others, she’s kind, and she’s pure… and she leaves everything up to that great prophecy mumbo jumbo.

(8 ) Tweedledee and Tweedledum have quite an Adams Family-esque feel to them, like mini Uncle Fester’s, or even like Pugsley. I suppose that’s what Burton was going for… not necessarily my connotation to the Adams Family, but again bringing out the dark, the bizarre, the odd feelings that things that don’t seem normal or ‘friendly’/’safe’ elicit.

(9) Alan Rickman was an excellent choice for the caterpillar, Absalom. Every time I hear his voice, I am reminded of Professor Snape (from the Harry Potter series), who I am quite fond of. Rickman has such a deep, rich voice. I love it. I wonder if it’s significant that they called the caterpillar Absalom… it’s a Biblical name/ reference, isn’t it?

(10) Now that I’m on Harry Potter, I was reminded – at least a bit – of the 4th book/film when Alice had to slay the Jabberwocky on Frabjous Day.

(11) The March Hare startled me a few times, but in a good way, as he’s always throwing things about. I didn’t exactly jump in my seat – few things have caused me to do that – yet it was effective enough to make me flinch. I did watch the film in 3D, after all. You gotta’ love it 😉

(12) When Alice goes on the shipping route to China at the end of the film, the boat she stands on is named “Wonder”. Clever.

(13) The Cheshire Cat is most definitely my favourite character in the film (the hatter being a very, very close second!) The voice, the emotions, the way he moves… and that awesome turquoise/blue with the grey! His fur looked amazing. Turquoise is my favourite colour, after all… plus, what can I say? I’m a cat-lover through and through.

I have much, much more to say about the film, but I think that, for now at least, I have had my say. I’ve been doing quite a bit of typing this evening, and my daily dose of headache is quite a whopper (even after two Nurofen Plus). Tomorrow, I’ll be watching the 1951 Alice in Wonderland Disney classic. I just cannot get it out of my head. It’s driving me stark raving mad – and you don’t want to be in the company of a mad person, do you? But, as the Cheshire Cat says: “Oh, you can’t help that. Most everyone’s mad here. [laughs maniacally; starts to disappear] You may have noticed that I’m not all there myself”…




3 responses

9 03 2010
Liske van Lill

I wish the flowers had a chance to sing in the film – now THAT would have been interesting…

10 03 2010
Liske van Lill

Okay, so the caterpillar’s name is spelt “Absolem”, not “Absalom” as I typed it here… or, at least, according to Wikipedia and a few other sources, it’s spelt “Absolem”. I suppose it doesn’t really matter…

9 07 2010
The Rapture of Receiving « The Skinny on my Jeans (Genes)

[…] because that was the theme for the kitchen tea I held for my older sister, plus I blogged about the Tim Burton film version after seeing in in 3-D on the big […]

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