Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still Wondering About Wonderland?

I would submit Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland as one of those movies that you either get it or you don't. Either you like it or you don't. There's no right or wrong here, like food, one might find Durian tasty, while others might look at it as gross-sleamy-sticky distasteful fruit (for example: me!). However, despite of whatever your take on the movie, there are questions I found wandering around and I like to uncover them bit by bit.

Partly, because I'd like share that enjoying a movie doesn't necessarily begin the second the movie start and doesn't end the second the movie roll up its credit. A movie is an experience beyond that. You could still be discussing it days after you watched it. The quotes might rings to you months after. I guess you get what I meant. Now, the other part is because I'm a fan of Burton's work and when his work is on question, I'd like people to understand his beautiful mind that come up with the imagination that is so beyond our expectation that make you question in the first place. Confuse? Good. Cause I need you to be asking questions. Questions such as:

Q: Why does the story differ from the original one / different from the book?

A: It is intended to be different! Burton's is so creative and imaginative that he don't want to simply re-create a worldly popular story. Don't you notice that Alice is now 19 year-old? Don't you notice that she's about to be proposed? The Alice in the book was about 9 or 10 years old. This also answers your question on why does the Alice in Burton's version look so effin' old. In other word, Burton and the scriptwriter Linda Woolverton created sort of an extension of the story, or you can also put it as Chapter 13 of the original book by Lewis Carroll.

Q: So what is the plot in the Burton's Alice?
A: Notice this synopsis from imdb.com : 19-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends. Get it? Good. Burton intention was to elaborate the original story to make it somewhat 'grow' in a sense, Alice now, as a young adult has forgotten her past adventures and is now facing modern struggles about love, unwanted wedding proposals, and discovering her place in world. In her confusion, she follows a white rabbit and falls into Wonderland, or as it is now called 'Underland'' and met the many fantasy characters she met on her first visit during her childhood. But the memories were stranded far from her, thus, everyone is questioning is she the 'real' Alice. But the answer can only be found within her, and only when she realize her true-self as THE Alice that she begin to realize her true destiny : to end Red Queen's reign of terror.

Q: What are the good stuffs in Burton's Alice?
A: First and foremost the AMAZING visual that is so Burton and I believe only Burton can do that. Also there are lessons we can get. Well, everyone might interpret different things and construct different thoughts but here's what I get:

  • Remember Mad Hatter was saying about Alice losing her 'Muchness' ? That's what I meant above about finding her sense-of-self, which applies to most of us. Only when we realize our 'muchness' or in worldly translation 'passion' or 'purpose' that you might find your identity in the world.

  • Red Queen and White Queen are very natural representation of selfish and big-headed person being dethrone by someone with sincere heart and selfless attitude.

  • Think about six impossible things before breakfast. Which means: impossible is nothing. The things that once impossible have proven to be possible. It used to take days or month to interact with family overseas, and that is through words only (letters). But imagination and creativity has made it hallmark. Now people can see each other even when they are separated by miles of distance, thanks to founder of webcam and internet and Skype who dare to think about the 'impossible'.

Seems like a lot to crunch. It might just me who spend to much time pondering about movies. But I must say I like movies that squeeze out my imagination. In Alice's case I have to dig even before I watched it to learn that it actually not a re-make. And four days after watching here I am still very much influenced by the movie that I'm sharing the hints to ease you in understanding the movie and in a way understanding Burton.

If you like this. And think that you want to venture other Burton's work and let your imagination ignites, you gotta watch Big Fish (2003).

Curiouser, Curioser

1 comment:

  1. nice review. am myself a fan of both works of depp and burton.


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