Directed by: Tim Burton
Country: United Kingdom, United States
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Cast: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, Michael Sheen, Stephen Fry, Christopher Lee
Rating: 3 out of 5
Tim Burton's ''Alice in Wonderful'' is visually fantastic. It has delightful visual effects, and the sets are remarkable. It is quite pleasant, with wonderful and amazing elements that makes us like the film, but overall, it just remains a good movie, not something special.
The film's events take place thirteen years after the events of Lewis Carroll's famous novel ''Alice in Wonderland". Alice is seen as a nineteen-year-old girl who has forgotten her trip to the Wonderland, and often has dreams about the trip, which she describes as "nightmares". As Alice, Mia Wasikowska is simply fascinating.
Alice's mother, Helen, wants her to marry Hamish, but she doesn't know if she wants to marry him. While Hamish proposes to her, she notices a rabbit going to a hole, she follows the rabbit and falls into the hole. Through a tiny door, she enters the Wonderland once again (after reducing her height!). She sees strange creatures, who claim her to be ''The Alice''. She believes it to be simply a dream.
Slowly, she comes to learn that the place is being ruled by a tyrant ruler named Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), who seized the throne from her sister the White Queen (played by Anne Hathaway). Alice is told that she is destined to slay the Red Queen's Jabberworky. The creatures in the Wonderland argue if it is the right Alice. Meanwhile, the evil Red Queen comes to learn that Alice has arrived...
When Alice enters the Wonderland, it seems indeed a beautiful green wonderland. But slowly, it turns out to be desolate and dark. The area around the Red Queen's palace doesn't seem pleasant, indicating her evilness. While, on the other hand, the comparative beauty around the White Queen's palace represents her moral values.
The Red Queen is simply tyrant, and is cruel to both animals and humans. She beheads anyone who displeases her. She is herself an unpleasant character with a big head, and Alice describes her as ''perfectly horrid''. Helena Bonham Carter's performance is fascinating as the antagonist. Anne Hathaway plays the White Queen, whom everybody wants to come back at the Queen. She is beautiful, kind, and good (though a bit weird!).
Johnny Depp plays Hatter, an expert in making hats. He once used to make hats for the White Queen. He's a major character in the film. He is a pleasant fellow, and remains Alice's friend throughout the film. Unlike others, he recognized Alice as the right Alice the moment he saw her. Matt Lucas plays Tweedledee and Tweedledum, jesters in the Red Queen's court (but however, they secretly support the White Queen).
We hear the voices of Alan Rickman (as Absolem, a Caterpillar), Michael Sheen (as the White Rabbit), Timothy Spall (as Bayard, a bloodhound), Stephen Fry (as the Chesire Cat), and many others. All these characters are animated.
In minor roles, there is the presence of Martin Csokas and Lindsay Duncan as Alice's parents, Jemma Powell as Alice's sister Margaret, Leo Bill as Hamish, Tim Piggott-Smith and Geraldine James as Hamish's parents, and Frances de la Tour as the unmarried middle-aged aunt of Alice.
As with other Tim Burton's movies, the cinematography deserves special praise. Music by Danny Elfman is also quite good.
The story and screenplay are both fine, but the movie doesn't become that much memorable because though it is interesting and engrossing, it is, somewhat, a bit clumsy. But that doesn't mean that it is boring. Not a single moment in the film is boring. It is just that, despite of the wonderful visuals, excellent cast all of whom give good performances, and good screenplay, the film remains just a good experience.
Tim Burton's ''Alice in Wonderland'' is visually wonderful, and is a good movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Though it is not as good as his great films like ''Edward Scissorhands'', ''Big Fish'' or ''Sweeney Todd'', it is still very enjoyable, quite good, and overall, entertaining!
3 out of 5!