Friday, May 14, 2010

off with her head

“OFF WITH HER HEAD!!!!” screamed the Queen of Hearts. I sat hypnotized in front of the television. Although the movie was very odd indeed, it captivated my child mind. I sympathized with Alice and I wondered at all the wonders of Wonderland. Now, being a 20 year old with an avid curiousity of the world, I found that Alice in Wonderland was being shown again by Disney. Thoroughly enchanted with the idea, I exclaimed probably aloud within the viewing of a preview in the middle of the theater, “I WANT to see THAT movie.” After all, I have a small adoration for Anne Hathaway and Johnny Depp holds a special place in my heart for effortlessly stealing all the hearts of my high school girl friends (I’m still unsure of how he managed that. Actually, I think it may have been his cheekbones.).

The day finally came that I got to see Alice in Wonderland 3D. It’s an intriguing movie with a dynamic cast and an excellent display of costume design and make up. The plot is familiar and follows the “true” plot of the book loosely. Movies do not necessarily have to follow book plots religiously, but I do believe that the plot variations should still keep the main theme of the original story. Disney’s 3D version is unique with its multiple story lines that are all tied together by Alice. She is like a gateway to both worlds. Alice is unique and odd in both worlds and called upon to freely make her own decisions even if it does mean deviating from the norm.

The story of Alice in Wonderland is a classic story that the world so eagerly draws to. It is a coming of age story. It requires the protagonist, Alice, to grow. She has the choice to stay right where she has always been in corset and lace stockings or to leave those behind completely and adventure. We viewers adore the stories of heroines overcoming the odds and victorious winning over horrible challenges. In these movies, we become these characters and live vicariously through them to win their victories and ultimately our own as well.

Disney outdid themselves in my humble opinion. This childhood story and video came to life in a way that seems completely appropriate. These larger than life characters were even better in human and Tim-Burton-form. They took on a personable characteristic. The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) was phenomenal with a heart that no one could foretell. Admittedly, I was most intrigued by his makeup. Yet, I don’t think that is all a bad thing. Some of the other characters that were particularly intriguing to me were probably the Queen of Hearts’ inner circle. They all had interesting abnormalities such as overly large ears, a witch nose, a quintuple chin, and a huge middle. Although these were revealed to be fake during the movie, it gave the viewer an odd perspective of each of these specific characters more obvious faults.

As my friend and I (I still with the 3D glasses shading my eyes) exited the movie theater, she asked me, “What was your favorite character?” I asked for a couple of moments to think where I rambled on a bit about the Mad Hatter and the inner circle of the queen with their mix matched body parts. Then, it dawned on me. My favorite would continue to be the Cheshire Cat. Surely, his grin is creepy, but he is mysterious. He is neither bad nor altogether good. He comes and he goes. The Cheshire Cat has a record of scaring small children. Yet since childhood, he has been my favorite. He aids Alice in her discovery of herself. I doubt that I would watch this movie many times over, but I definitely found it to be food for thought.