Alice in Wonderland’ takes audience on mad adventure

by Dana Lain/Staff Writer

Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” is a fantastical and absolutely mad adventure. Visually amazing and imaginative, “Alice in Wonderland” follows the original novel written by Charles Dodgson in 1865.

The story we all know and love begins with Alice (Mia Wasikowska) as a little daddy’s girl who is troubled with a recurring dream where she finds herself falling through a rabbit hole and meeting strange people. Both she and her father have common personalities in that they both are big dreamers and are easily distracted.

Alice grows into a young lady and finds herself being asked to marry an uptight, non-imaginative stiff who finds her dreamer personality silly and inappropriate.

Alice must choose between a life she knows will be terrible for her, filled with cheating husbands, terrible mother-in-laws and closed-mindedness, and the life she wants, full of fulfilling dreams and an escape out of her constricting lifestyle as a proper young lady.

As she is put on the spot in front hundreds of family members and friends, Alice’s absentmindedness causes her to chase after the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen) and she falls into a deep rabbit hole with no way of returning.

Alice meets several friends and foes during her time in Wonderland. The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the Tweedles (Matt Lucas), the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) and the intelligent Blue Caterpillar (Alan Rickman) help her thwart the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and the Knave of Hearts (Crispin Glover) by slaying the Jabberwocky.

As the rabbit hole takes her through a completely alien world, Alice is forced to figure out who she really is and find the strength within her to slay the Jabberwocky. With a continuous debate if she is the true Alice, she must convince herself that her dream world is real and so are the friends she made in Wonderland.

Alice must create her own destiny and learn what it takes to break out and be herself. With her kind of personality, she gains the trust of many creatures in Wonderland. She learns that she can make the impossible possible just by believing that everything is possible.

Depp plays a wonderful Mad Hatter and it’s definitely one of his better insane characters, closely following Captain Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka. Depp leaves the audience sad to see him captured and forced to make hats for the evil Red Queen.

“Off with your head!” Carter plays a wonderfully shrill, evil queen who plunders, burns and enslaves the people of Wonderland. Carter’s performance is absolutely superb. Balancing an evil personality, the embarrassment of a bulbous head and the constant worry of being loved or hated, Carter is outstanding.

Wasikowska plays Alice very well. She is the epitome of a creative classic. The cast and plot make for a great children’s movie with a creepy, twisted side that leaves you wondering what it really means to be bonkers and madder than a hatter.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.