Tim Burton teams with long term collaborators – Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter to give us a unique twist on Lewis Carroll‘s surreal world of Alice In Wonderland. In this version over imaginative Alice (newcomer Wasikowska) is 19 years old and is struggling to fit into a repressive Victorian society, when she spies a white rabbit which she follows to a rather large rabbit hole.
Theres no surprises for guessing what happens to Alice at the rabbit hole – its after she has fallen in the hole that the fun really begins. She falls into a world inhabited with strange and surreal creatures, fantastical characters, evil queens, talking animals, a Jabberwocky and possibly the best tea party ever.
There are not many people who don’t know at least some of the story of Alice but in this version Tim Burton exaggerates and twists his characters – in looks as well as personality to put his own unique stamp on this classic tale. Wasikowska does well in her debut as Alice but the real stars of the show are Depp and Bonham Carter who excel at bringing out the heart and grotesque (respectively) in their characters. The supporting (CGI but with familiar British voices) are great too from the familiar the Dormouse (Barbara Windsor), March Hare (Paul Whitehouse) and Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) to the lesser known Baynard (Timothy Spall), and it is these characters that bring the most humour and provides a new angle on an old tale.
I wonder though quite where this will find its audience, it seems a little too twisted and wordy for children and a little too young for adults – but currently its No. 1 in the film charts so what do I know! Great fun – a must for all Burton / Depp fans.
Directed by Tim Burton
Mia Wasikowska – Alice
Johnny Depp – Mad Hatter
Helena Bonham Carter – Red Queen
Anne Hathaway – White Queen
Crispin Glover – Knave of Hearts
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