Alice in Wonderland – Review

Alice in Wonderland Poster So I finally got to watch Alice in Wonderland this past weekend. It’s been in my Netflix queue for who knows how long (at least a couple months). I guess the Blu-ray version was much more popular than the DVD version since Chad got to watch his pretty much immediately after adding to his queue. Anyway, I’ve been hearing bad reviews about this movie, but it’s a Tim Burton film and I’m a big Tim Burton fan, so I had to watch it.

I LOVED IT! The movie was really fun. My memory of the original film is a bit fuzzy, but it looks like a retelling of the story with Alice grown up as a teenager now. Some of the names were familiar, but I did not recall that the caterpillar’s name was Absolutem nor that there was a dragon named Jabberwocky. Was there even a dragon in the original? I just remember the Red Queen’s soldiers were like playing cards and they fell down like dominoes. And you’ve gotta love the Futterwacken dancing, despite the fact I learnt that it wasn’t Johnny Depp who actually did it.

Anyway, there’s no real surprises in the movie, but just a retelling of a very similar story in a very beautiful and imaginative world.

White Queen What I wanted to talk about now is the Red Queen vs White Queen. In this movie, they made the White Queen seem a bit evil. She seems nice and pretty on the outside, but you could tell she has an evil heart. In an interview, Anne Hathaway says she portrayed the White Queen as if there were desires to be repressed, but when I was watching the movie, I took it in a different way. They were desires that she did not reveal in public. I wonder if anyone’s ever retold this story from the Red Queen’s point of view. It would definitely make for a very interesting story in my opinion.

Since the original story puts the White Queen in the good light, I’m going to assume that certain details could’ve been added/removed to put her in a better light.

Early on, you find out that the Red Queen is the eldest of the 2 siblings and that she had killed her parents and stolen the crown which they were planning on passing to the White Queen (her younger sister). However, what if the White Queen had tricked the parents into passing her the crown by acting all nice and proper? The default rule was that the eldest would become the next ruler, but the White Queen was able to use deception and trick her parents into passing the kingdom to her. The Red Queen couldn’t bear the fact that her parents were deceived by her younger sister and got into a big argument with them. In moment of passion and anger, she killed them. It could also be the fact that the parents were actually killed by the White Queen and the blame was put on the Red Queen, but that’s a much more twisted scenario.

One thing about the Red Queen is even though she is evil, she’s honest about it. Everyone knows she’s evil. She doesn’t try to hide it or wrap it up in pure white goodness. What you see is what you get. On the other hand, the White Queen may seem nice and good on the outside, but she definitely has some dark secrets repressed. The fact that she can come up with such a evil plan to chain both the Red Queen and the Red Queen’s servant (that had just tried to kill the Red Queen) and ban them for life shows you that she’s not that simple.

What about Alice? Why would she help the White Queen if she isn’t good? That comes down to the fact that Alice came into the story neutral, but were persuaded/tricked by the Mad Hatter and the White Queen herself into helping them. If you recall correctly, the Red Queen actually showed some really good hospitality to Alice, and it wasn’t until Alice tried stealing from her that she got angry and sent the dogs after her. Also the White Queen keeps telling her she doesn’t have to fight, but that’s just her trying to use reverse psychology. The Red Queen would never used such underhanded methods.

Do note, despite the fact that the Red Queen was ruler and in power for so long, she let her sister live in peace in her White Palace. Once the White Queen came into power, she banned her sister from the kingdom. Who’s the evil one here?

White Queen

3 Replies to “Alice in Wonderland – Review”

  1. I like your take on the whole White v Red Queens here. It’s certainly makes sense given what little we know about the backgrounds of the Underland characters. And how like Burton to make such an unexcepted swap in the good and evil roles.

    It also makes the rest of the White Queen’s court suspect. Of course, the majority of fans would not accept this particularly those who are convinced that Alice and the Hatter are in love (ew) because then the Hatter would be cast in a shady light. The Hatter does not appear to be under the White Queen’s thumb (he doesn’t seem perturbed by her in the flashback and he was her hatter which would give him insider knowledge of her true nature) and campaigns heavily for her return to the throne This puts him on the same level as Stayne. Chessur has no alligence to anyone but himself. Mallymkun is a proper little solider. The Tweedles, though bumbling, are clever “pawns”. We don’t know what the March Hare was like before he went mad. And every one of them used Alice to get what they wanted- none more so than the Hatter.

    Burton’s Alice, I often think, would be more compelling if Alice had been left out all together and we saw, as you perfectly described, the backstory of the sisters and why the Hatter, Stayne, and the others chose the sides they did. I don’t think things would be so pale or rosy. 😉

    1. Totally agree with that everyone used Alice to get what they wanted. 🙂

      Leaving Alice out of Wonderland would definitely make for an interesting story.

  2. WOW!
    You should REALLY read BOTH of the books before posting a review like that. You’re idiotic review had me baffled. Shame shame shame

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