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    March 18, 2010

    MOVIE REVIEW: ALICE IN WONDERLAND

    ALICE IN WONDERLAND (English/U)
    Genre: Adventure/Fantasy
    Release Date: 04 March 2010
    Distributor: Buena Vista (Walt Disney)
    Running Time: 109 minutes
    Director: Tim Burton
    Producers: Richard D Zanuck, Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd, Jennifer Todd
    Writers: Linda Woolverton (screenplay); Lewis Carroll (book)
    Casts: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Crispin Glover
    Plot: 17-year-old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) attends a party at a Victorian estate only to find she is about to be proposed to in front of hundreds of snooty society types. She runs off, following the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen) into a hole and ends up in Wonderland, a place she visited in a similar manner 10 years before, yet doesn't remember. Wonderland was a peaceful kingdom until the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) overthrew her sister, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway). The creatures of Wonderland, such as the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Matt Lucas) and the March Hare (Paul Whitehouse), ready to revolt, wait for Alice to help them. With the help of the White Queen, the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and the Caterpillar (Alan Rickman), Alice starts seeing flashbacks of her original visit, back when she was seven.

    THE VERDICT

    Oh, another collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp and yet again another weird movie to swallow. Is this a good movie? Not really. Is this so bad till you may want to puke all your Subways out? Definitely not. Watching this movie makes no apparent parallel line with the story that you have always read. Rather than a straight adaptation of the ever popular Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, Burton took a bold moves by making it into neither a straight remake, re-imagining nor a sequel. So basically, you may not necessary need to understand the original children novel nor its after sequel, Through The Looking-Glass.

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    Troubled by a recurring dream featuring strange creatures, nineteen-year-old Alice Kingsley (Mia Wasikowska) attends a party at a Victorian estate shortly after the death of her beloved father. She learns that the formal affair is actually an engagement party to eventually wed her into the Ascot family who now own her father's trading firm. Unsure of how to reply to Hamish Ascot's proposal, Alice runs away and follows the White Rabbit, Nivens McTwisp (Michael Sheen). She then falls down a rabbit hole into Underland, a bizarre world she previously visited as a child, although she has lost most memory of it and believes what she remembers to have been a dream. That is how it begins.

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    First of all, let's talk about the plot. It managed to keeps me wonder how did Tim Burton successfully fused two stories into one. While the sequence of story follows how Through The Looking-Glass is, he added the similar style and tone of his own too. It created a fun-fair extravaganza that cleverly entertains any souls that are watching it. The movie is filled with so much bedazzlement and humors while retaining the ever dark notion of Tim Burton's infusion of gothic and Victorian feels. It was highly imaginative and a bold attempt to create a different atmosphere for the movie.

    While the feel is there, I still can't see a less predictable story line. There is virtually no elements of surprise left and as the story goes on, it just getting a little bit tiresome and the movie goes plain and dry. There are some moments when I did felt very bored!! The movie lost some of its energetic features in the beginning and it becomes a little disturbingly violent towards the end. Talking about slaying the Jabberwocky of course!

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    Character wise, I have to say this is one of the best ensemble casting I have ever seen over the years. For performance tracking, it was worth to point out again and again, how good Johnny Depp was in the movie. As mad as a Mad Hatter, he managed to bring the character alive, filled with delusion and insanity. I also love the March Hare - the character was cute, wild and crazy. Mia Wasikowska was well deserved for the role that she may have considered a very challenging for a newcomer. Just like what Abselom said, "it is almost Alice!"

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    3D gimmick is no longer another tempting 3D satisfying the hunger souls. The cinematographic was brilliant and I have to say, Tim Burton managed to create and bring Wonderland to live. I have to say that in my most honest words ever that this movie is so much better than Avatar in terms of eye-popping effects. Give it a try but I warned you about some risk of boredom and lack of energy from this movie.

    THE RATING:
    Story - 3.0 stars
    Casts - 3.5 stars
    Cinematography - 4.0 stars
    Effects - 4.0 stars
    OVERALL - 3.5 stars
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 13.8
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