Friday, 4 June 2010

Good Try Tim, But You Tried Too Hard

I will start by issuing a small update on the life of me. I will be moving house tomorrow, I am escaping Peckham and heading west...west London that is, i wouldn't actually head to the west of England, the west of England is more like a concept than a reality to me. As such, I will be a week or two without internet, so this will be my last post for that time, but trust me, I will be getting the internets as fast as I can once I am all moved in, in-between my mad hustlin' that I will be undertaking for charities. It is all very exciting round these parts. Anyway, today I got home after sorting out my house and getting employed and watched Alice In Wonderland, the Tim burton vehicle that had such contrasting reviews depending on which sources I went to that I started to suspect that my friends were watching different films. I mean, I am not a huge Burton fan, his films are a bit too inconsistent for my liking and I think sometimes he over does the 'quirkiness' factor in an attempt to be different. Despite this I pressed play with an open mind.

Alice In Wonderland doesn't follow the same path as the adaptations before it or the book itself for that matter. We enter the story 13 years after Alice's initial adventure down the rabbit hole. Whilst attending a party that it turns out is a secret engagement party for our new, older Alice (Mia Wasikowska) and Lord Hamish, a ginger twat with a stupid face


Alice gets this assbag proposing to her in front of a mad large crowd and instead of punching him in the face, which she should have done, she pegs it off after a rabbit in a you do. Cue her stumble into the rabbit hole and down down down she goes. Once in Wonderland it is as you would expect it to be; Alice is introduced to a series of totally nuts characters from the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), to the awesome opium toking Blue Caterpillar (Alan Rickman), this caterpillar literally fucking LOVES opium, nd his constant toking on the ol erb made him my favourite character by far, just for his drug intake.


So her adventure folds into the story of two queens (Helen Botham Carter and Anne Hathaway respectively) who are stuck, along with their quirky comrades, in a long running war for the throne; and it appears that prophecy has singled Alice out as the saviour for the good guys following the White Queen (Hathaway), which helps drag our heroine into a quest for a weird sword whilst trying to rescue her new friends from the clutches of the wicked Red Queen (Carter) who has some mad anger issues and a fetish for beheading chumps.

So I will start with the good bits; the film is beautiful aesthetically, you can tell a lot of thought and imagination went into the landscapes and the characters themselves. Everything is colourful and captivating and each character has a strange little personality that is mirrored by their appearance, I can't really fault Burton here as he defiantly had a good vision for what he wanted the film to look like. Secondly the acting is brilliant in places, nothing award winning of course, but just how some of the actors took over their roles with such energy, Depp in particular, whose Mad Hatter is a superb mix of adorable nut job and menacing Glaswegian psycho (I don't know why he gave the character a Scottish side, but it was funny).

Pictured: A typical Scotsman

The problem is, and this could just be my personal opinion, but when Burton decided to try and change the entire concept of the original book he kind of overstepped the line and rendered his adaptation void. Basically, the original text by Lewis Carroll was a strange journey into the drug fuelled mind of the writer, I mean, nobody can deny that that fucker was quite obviously off his tits on LSD when he popped this lil tale out onto his typewriter, there is no way a sober or stable mind could invent the shit he depicts in Alice's adventures. The element that gave the writing of Carroll such an enchanting and hilariously strange feel was that there wasn't a story as such, it was more a documentation of Alice simply wandering around and meeting different characters in different situations, with no apparent narrative structure to which her encounters are based. What Burton has tried to do, which no other adaptations have bothered, is to try and tie Alice and her new Wonderland friends into a story, a plot and try to mesh all of their stories together into one big patchwork, which you may think sounds great, I mean, who wouldn't want a bit of structure to their films? Me thats who. I don't want structure to this film. By ditching the 'wandering girl' aspect of Carroll's book, Burton has binned the drugged up, psychedelic charm that the original prose and the film adaptations before hand embraced so willingly. It seems that in his quest to stand out even bloody more from the Hollywood make up, Burton has tried too hard and completely distanced himself from the best element of his project that if he had just kept the premise the same, could have been a unanimous classic. But instead he decides he is going to slap his label on a legendary story and completely twist the shit out of the thing to make it 'his'. You should have just left the narrative structure alone Tim. Bloody can't trust you with anything mate

Would you trust this man with anything? Anything at all?

Still a good effort though. You should see Alice In Wonderland just for the visuals, but none the less, it is an enjoyable film, defiantly one I could watch again.

Till next time