Alice in Wonderland

  • 2010-04-01
  • By Michael Litvinsky

Director: Tim Burton

It is very hard for me to be a hundred percent objective reviewing this particular film, simply because I considered “Alice in Wonderland” to be the most anticipated film of 2010. Maybe because of that, I wasn’t excited about what I saw.  There were several reasons for this.

First of all,  the only thing Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” had in common with the original story by Lewis Carroll were the names of the characters, which might seem fine at first (after all, the film is an independent work by an independent artist, and must be judged separately  from the original book), but still, when the director fails to capture the essence of the original, of what he’s basing his film on, the logical question comes to mind: “Why attach your work to some book?” If you’re just using the name to attract the audience, then, to be honest, this is not the best method. In instinctively comparing your creation to the original, and not seeing any parallels, will naturally leave the viewers unsatisfied, because they wanted “Alice in Wonderland,” and got something absolutely different, even if this “something” is not entirely bad.

Still, even if we forget about the brilliant book by Lewis Carroll, and concentrate our attention on the movie itself, we will see that even though it is colorful and shiny, there is no brightness in it, and a digitally created Wonderland seems to be without a great deal of wonder. The story, written by Linda Woolverton, looks primitive, therefore the characters, who are so unusual and ironic in the book, tend to lose their uncommonness and get simplified.
What Burton created, is a simple fairytale - colorful, entertaining, good for amusing seven year-old children, but absolutely soulless and commercialized.

Even the great cast of actors doesn’t make the film better. The creators were probably so busy inventing the looks of the characters that they completely forgot that acting is not only about visuals, and that the script should contain some emotion that the actors should show on the screen.

In the end, what was announced as “Alice in Wonderland” came out to be a clone of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” which is not the best thing to clone in the first place, and this is indeed a pity, because then such a great cast works with one of the most talented directors of our time on such a great story, that you rightfully expect something extraordinary out of this union. Hopefully, their next cooperation will be much more successful. 

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