Friday, March 5, 2010

Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland

Last night a few friends and I went and saw the midnight showing of Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland'. The first thing I want to say is that it was very worth seeing, and I highly recommend it. Very well done.

I'm usually not a fan of whimsical, fluffy, somewhat weak female lead characters (i.e. Cozette, Juliette...Bella Swan) and Alice can definitely tend that way, but I was actually very impressed with Mia Wasikowska. She gave Alice some spunk and likeability, and when she came out in her suit of armor she was actually pretty kick-butt.

The script, a combination of Carrol's work, was awesome! This was sort of Through the Looking Glass round II, and I think it worked. It started me thinking of what other authors you could combine/sequel like that. C.S. Lewis? Dickens? Shakespeare?

Having said all that, the best thing in the movie was by far Johnny Depp. Not surprising, considering he's usually the best thing in everything he's in. His slight gap-toothed lisp was perfect, and the exact quirk we as the audience need to get us really into the character. To put it simply, he is unnaturally natural in unnatural characters. Everything he does intriguing. It is interesting how the little quirks like that can delve so deeply into a character. This role is just another feather in Johnny Depp's hat. Pun intended.

Putting Ann Hathaway into a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp world absolutely did not work. I'm sorry, but she was terrible. Distractingly so, in my opinion. Her inflections and physicalities seemed awkward and forced, like she didn't quite know how to keep up with Depp and Bonham Carter.

So what are the artistic lessons to take from this? The best characters have quirks that bring you in and attach you to them. All the characters need to be of equal quality, if not equal importance, or the weaker ones will distract like a sore thumb. Give your main characters some determination and umph.

Go see this movie! It is very Tim Burton-esque, which I consider a good thing. It's not one I'm dying to go pay ten bucks to see again, but most definitely worth paying for a first time, and most definitely worth seeing. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Sarah Allen

1 comment:

  1. The only other Depp movies I've seen were the pirate movies, and I thought that gap tooth was part of the costume. Every time he smiled it jarred me out of the movie because I was mentally screaming, "CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW!!!"


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