The Wandering Alice

by Evans Yonson

I have never been so fond of Alice in Wonderland and her gang. Even as a young kid, I never fancied Lewis Caroll’s tale of a lost young woman. The parallelisms between the real and the nether world were a total giveaway.

But on the other hand, Tim Burton fascinates me no end. I fell in love with Tim when he directed Bettlejuice in 1988 with Michael Keaton and young Winona Ryder (“We’re not completely helpless, Barbara. I’ve been reading that book and there’s a word for people in our situation: ghosts.”).

Followed by Batman the next year again with Michael Keaton (“Haven’t you ever heard of the healing power of laughter?”).

Then he made Johnny Depp into Edward Scissorhands (“Forget about holding her hand, man. Think about the damage he could do to other places.”) and that sealed our love affair.

He went on to direct more eccentric films and have never compromised his art. Think Ed Wood! Mars Attacks! Sleepy Hollow! Big Fish! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sweeney Todd! And here comes his latest.. Alice in Wonderland, his opening salvo for 2010.

Put Burton and Caroll together, a wonder! Indeed!

The Mad Hatter: What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it. I use to hat The White Queen, you know. Her head was so small.
The Red Queen: It’s tiny. It’s a pimple of a head.

Blue Caterpillar: I can’t help you if you don’t even know who you are, stupid girl.

The Mad Hatter: There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.  [picks up his hat] Which luckily I am.

Watching these wonderful special effects work wonder before your very eyes and the 3D effect are astonishing. I nearly forgot that I paid 9.50 euros (almost 600 pesos) just to satisfy my Tim Burton craving. Luckily, Depp delivers. He is Burton’s Meryl Streep. While his real wife Helena Bonham Carter plays The Red Queen, she makes you reach out for safety pin and burst her head into Underland. Anne Hathaway playing The White Queen reminds you that she is older now and has lost her Princess Diaries innocence. Move along, Anne. Tim Burton found a new Alice from Canberra, Australia by the name of Mia Wasikowska. Mia, in less than five years in showbusiness,  has already made more than 10 films (including last year’s Amelia) and several TV episodes back in Australia and has two more movies to be released early next year. This girl is latest It girl. Forget that Navi girl of Avatar. Mia will play Jane Eyre with Jamie Bell as her leading man and with a support cast led by Dame Judi Dench. That’s what you call real talent with great connections.