Friday, June 18, 2010

Oh Alice!

 I'd been waiting for the release of "Alice in Wonderland" by Tim Burton ever since that first trailer last year. Many reasons for the anticipation:
  1. Directed by Tim Burton! 'nuf said.
  2. If the trailer looks this amazing; how much more amazing will the movie be? Obvious answer!
  3. Most important reason; Johnny Depp
  4. The 'muchness' factor, of course!

Johnny Depp is hot in whatever avatar he takes on. How the hell was I to know I'd get a crazy, absurdly massive crush on Mad Hatter? of all characters in the whole story??!

I don't have to gush about Tim Burton's direction since it's a universally known fact that he is sui generis. And all the three movies of his that I've watched include Johnny Depp. Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and now Alice in Wonderland. Maybe I'm not the only one with infatuations…

Warning: Anyone who hasn't watched the movie, and thus detests spoilers ought to run now when there still is the opportunity. You stand warned: This post is spoiler-rich!

Synopsis: The movie deals with Alice post her trip to the what-she-calls "Wonderland". She's now all of 20 and about to be proposed by a lousy, spineless Lord. The girl has one, single recurring nightmare; she's falling down, and down and down a hole with no end…and the rest-as-you-know.

So was that trip to Wonderland just a dream? [or nightmare, if you please] Or reality? What if Alice returned to that place after a long time? As in, now?

General Gushing: The movie is story-telling at its best. Just anyone can re-tell a well known fairy-tale. But it takes a really good imagination to unravel the story's fabric and sew it in a new manner, starting from the basics. Lovely. If this movie were a human, I'd have proposed marriage to it by now. Of course, kidding. But just so that I can tell you how much I loved the movie in its entirety. The direction, script, cinematography, lighting, animation, casting…the Everythingness of it! Or should I say, the muchness!

Things I loved:
  • So at long last we get it. A reluctant heroine! All the movies we have been through so far, have had reluctant men transforming into heroes. And here comes along imaginative, reluctant, "I'm-not-that-Alice!"-Alice who finally realizes that this isn't a dream after all.
  • The reading in-between the lines done by the movie.
  • There are quite a lot of parallels drawn across people in her "real world" and "that other world". I'm not even that mean as to chalk 'em all out and ruin the fun for ya. Watch the movie closely and discover for yourself. Mind you, you won't hate doing that.
  • And you won't hate observing this movie closely because there are possibly hundreds of subtle hints, truths, facts strewn across it. The movie is wonderfully chiseled and very subtle in telling us things. Subtlety is one of its strong points.
  • The innocent touch of humor in almost every frame. It's not slapstick, though some may argue about Mad Hatter being Mad Hatter being slapstick. And I say, Not!
  • How could you not love the cast? From little Alice to the adult Alice, from Mad Hatter [miiiiiine!] to the Cheshire Cat, everyone's perfect for their role. Or maybe, that's because of the flexibility of all these actors. I didn't mention the Queens since they need separate gushing. Johnny Depp/ Mad Hatter would demand a whole post on my part; but I'll skip that.
  • Helen Bonham Carter is so honest to her character that at times you forget that she's actually quite a good-looking actress and not bulbous-headed dictator of a Queen as she's portraying. She was so good as Bellatrix in HP5 that I couldn't help hating her with all my heart. She is that good. Here, the way she simpers at Knave and frequently yells "Off with her/his/their head/s!!!" in that characteristic style, just blows me. Every time she does it, it blows me.
  • Anne Hathaway is the antithesis White Queen to her elder sister Red Queen Carter is just equally amazing. but while the Red Queen blows us with her freaky super ego and inferiority/ superiority complex, the White Queen makes us swoon with her sweetness, daintiness, innocence, goodness and a whole lot of positive  "–nesses". Even the way she walks. If it had been done by some one else, we had be saying "hypocrite". Here, you say, "awwwwww….she's so lovely and pure" Or maybe I'm just being partial to her because I was earlier on mind-blown by her acting prowess as displayed in the movie "Rachel Getting Married" [a must watch people].
  • The Futterwack!
  • Mad Hatter! Mad Hatter! Mad Hatter!! And on a different, less star-struck note, is Mad Hatter shown as a father-figure [but in reverse] to Alice as I think it is? I'll stick to this belief anyway. I don't need unnecessary competition from Alice!
  • I dig the British accent. And when they talk, all I can say is "MOAR, gimme MOAR!"
  • And how can I forget the scene where Hatter had to get all Captain Sparrrowesque and with just a little amount of smooth talk and swishing about, escapes execution by Red Queen, with Dormouse and all, very much unhurt. I couldn't help thinking- looks totally like a tribute to the loving memory of POTC!
  • So much more things I love and things I must have missed out to mention here. Forgive me.

For now, fairfarren y'all. Love ye!


Rajesh said...

Excellent review.

Bluebutterfly said...

I totally plan to catch this movie so I did not go through the review but I had to mention that I love Mr.Depp.
From the sexy pirate look to the subtle innocent Edward and even the charmer in Chocolat !

Azra Raphael said...

@ blue- havent watched choclat yet