I stepped into the cinema with a mixture of expectations. I love the stories by Lewis Carrol, as well as the 1951 animated Disney movie, but this is something totally different. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is a mixture of a re-imagining and a sequel, telling the story of Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) returning to Underland (who she falsely called Wonderland last time) by the age of 19, thinking the memory of her last visit had just been a bad dream. Underland has been destroyed by the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) finally turning entirely crazy. We meet a cracked, broken down world that is still as off the knock as Tim Burton’s and Lewis Carrol’s minds put together, and truly beautiful visually. This is definitely Helena Bonham Carter’s best role, and Anne Hathaway’s only good role, working perfectly as the Luna Lovegood-ish White Queen. Johnny Depp, one of my favorite actors of all time, is wonderful as the Mad Hatter, working both as the crazy character he uses in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Pirates of the Carribean, and the cracked man of Edward Scissorhands. I will not say that this is his best role, but close to it.
Unfortunately, I kind of expected more of the ending. What begins as a wonderful story of a lunatic girl who just doesn’t suit her own time, turns into the story that has been told too many times: Child of our time finds a gate into another world, who has choosen him/her as the one with ancient prophecies, and although our hero first hesitates, he/she finds courage, saves the kingdom and returns home with this newfound character. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland simply falls a little too much as The Matrix meets Narnia, and although these are all great stories, he could have pulled something better off.
One final praise must go to Mia Wasikowska – this unknown but wonderful actress who simply is the perfect Alice – naïve, dreamy, and really cute. And managing being so childlike even though her boobs just almost shows in every scenes (due to her clothes being to big) is just amazing.