After what seemed to be a very long wait, “Alice in Wonderland” finally opened this weekend. I had HUGE expectations going in being that I had been following the production of this film since the beginning and especially because “Alice in Wonderland” is one of my favorite books of all time, and it was being directed by one of my favorites, Tim Burton. As mostly anyone can tell you just by watching the trailers on TV or knowing any of Burton’s former work, “Alice in Wonderland” is visually spectacular. And even though this is obviously adapted from Lewis Carroll’s masterpieces, there is quite a unique twist to the overall plot. The film begins with Alice as a little girl suffering from chronic, repeating nightmares. As she grows up, she continues to have them but considers them a blessing and means of inspiration to her creative imagination. When she arrives in Wonderland, it is made more than apparent by the creatures and characters who live there, that it is actually Alice’s return to Wonderland, (or ‘Underland,’ it would seem.) but Alice has no memory of it.
As I said, the visuals (especially in 3D) are nothing short of miraculous. The story is a creative and interesting interpretation of the story. Although the last five minutes of the film might leave you scratching your head. The acting and characters were portrayed well, some better than others in my opinion. Johnny Depp did a presentable job as The Mad Hatter but frankly left me more intimidated than amused throughout the film especially when he would switch to a Scottish accent to quote the actual book. My favorite though had to be Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen. Hilarious.
All in all, Alice in Wonderland is a very entertaining and visual spectacle that will leave you “Ooohing” and “Ahhhing” as you watch it, but you might forget it two minutes later. It was surprisingly short (1 hour, 49 minutes) and it left me wishing and wanting more story and more scenes with The March Hare and Tweedledee and Tweedledum.