Friday, March 5, 2010


Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway,
Crispin Glover, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Michael Sheen

"You've got a very important date"

Cinema 10, SM Megamall

It is definitely no wonder that if you want to be transported to a fantasy land then Tim Burton will be the perfect man to take you on that journey. In his latest masterpiece, we join him as he brings back Alice (Mia Wasikowska) who returns to a magical land which of course, looks astounding. Wonderland is an amazing place, often colorful, but equally often ravaged and bleak. It's a treat for the eyes, with the imagination and design shining through the technology.

I have to admit though that if Tim Burton had decided to do the film in full animation, I wouldn't have watch it at all. I like the idea that it is peppered with characters portrayed by actors even though they are completely CGI-ed up. You have a red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) with a big head who often shouts "Off with their heads!". She is cunning, wily yet also hilarious at times. She also paints as a lonely figure who is prone to maniacal tendencies.

Even though Alice is the main character, the Mad Hatter completely steals the show. Johnny Depp's heavily made up face, his tangerine hairdo and colorful attire all contribute to his intriguing characterization of a persona that is both comical and tragic in nature. You expect only the best from an actor who has regaled us with a wide variety of roles throughout the years. He has played Sweeney Todd, Willie Wonka, Edward Scissorhands and a pirate named Jack Sparrow. So he can definitely add the Mad Hatter to his impressive line up of memorable characters.

There is an inclination for one to further analyze the real vs fantasy dilemma often questioned by Alice as she strolls through Wonderland. Yet at the same time, you are captured by the visual kaleidoscope that you simply sit back to enjoy the vivid cinematography and the plot which unfolds like a daydream.

In that sense, Tim Burton succeeds in bringing a well loved children book unto the big screen. You will be amused by the captivating characters like a talking mongrel, a playful Cheshire cat, a loony white Rabbit and a wise blue caterpillar - they will certainly appeal to young kids. Yet as most fairy tale books go neither is it entirely child friendly as scary characters like a growling Bandersnatch and the menacing Jabberwocky set the bleak, depressing undertones in the story.

Overall, it is an entertaining fun way to spend 2 hours to simply get lost in a fascinating world of make believe!

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