“You’re mad , bonkers, off your head.
But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
To be honest, I’ve always hated this fairy-tale as a child, I found it particularly scaring. As a grown-up person, I discovered why, while studying Lewis Carroll at uni: it was no fairy-tale at all. Anyhow, I’ve never come to terms with this story, never come to like it so much. I still find it rather disquieting, disturbing and nightmarish.
I can’t say the same for the latest Disney’s 3D adaptation of Carrolls's texts (the movie is based both on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-glass) . It may sound less original than Carroll’s experimental prose but I found it lovely. I bought the DVD with a weekly magazine at the news-stand a couple of weeks ago but only saw it yesterday. It was such a good dreamy fairy – tale, romantic and poetic. I enjoyed watching it.
Alice is now nineteen years old and accidentally returns to Underland (misheard by Alice and believed to be called Wonderland), a place she visited thirteen years previously. She is told that she is the only one who can slay the Jabberwocky, a dragon-like creature controlled by the Red Queen who terrorizes Underland's inhabitants... (for a more detailed plot read HERE)
The director, Tim Burton said the original Wonderland story was "always about a girl wandering around from one weird character to another and he never felt a connection emotionally, so he wanted to make it feel more like a story than a series of events". And I must thank him because he succeeded in making me like a story I had always experienced as illogic, unpleasant and absurd. Even when I had to cope with the many intrpretations academic criticism had put forward for this text, I couldn’t find them very interesting: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been interpreted as mere fantasy, as a dream vision guided by free association, or nonsense literature. Several underlying motifs of psychological nature have often been suggested, like prenatal memories, rebirth, and re-entry into the womb. But I couldn't find any appeal in all that.
Watching this new film on DVD instead has only been an emotionally delightful experience: it was a very coloured, involving, simple fairy – tale with good and evil characters, funny and dramatic events, romantic and scary moments.
The stellar cast was stunning. I loved Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter and Mia Wasikowska as Alice, but also Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter, as the good and wicked queens respectively. Wise blue Caterpillar sounded even wiser - though still rather cryptic - thanks to Alan Rickman's voice. I finally liked Crispin Glover as Ilosovic Stayne, the Knave of Hearts , a dark fascinating knight, who insistently reminded me of someone ...
Stayne, the Knave of Hearts
Guy, the Knight of our Hearts
I'll leave you with my favourite scene: simple, poetic, touching, sad ...
Hatter: You could stay
Alice: What an idea. A crazy, mad, wonderful idea. But I can’t. There are questions I have to answer, things I have to do. Be back again before you know it.
Hatter: You won’t remember me
Alice: Of course I will. How could I forget? Hatter, why is a raven like a writing desk?
Hatter: I haven’t the slightest idea. Fairfarren , Alice.
Fairfarren you all!