Alice in Wonderland

I’m never quite sure what to make of Tim Burton’s movies. There’s always a bit of an ick factor that I can’t put my finger on – though the presence of the (and I don’t know how to say this kindly) repulsive Helena Bonham Carter probably has something to do with it. His movies always seems to have all the right ingredients, but they just don’t quite work together. So it was with some trepidation that I took Rose and Kazi to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D over the long weekend.

It’s a re-imagining of the Alice tale, so Alice is a decade or so older and about to be farmed off in marriage to some pale and chinless aristocrat. She’s a revisionist, grrl-powerish Alice, this one though, so she rebels against her fate and falls down the rabbit hole into Wonderland again. But Wonderland has changed for the worse in her absence; the Red Queen has won the throne, and enslaved the populace, and it appears that Alice is the only one who can stop her.

So Wonderland itself was a bit grim – it looked post-apocalyptic, and frankly the gloom of 3D specs didn’t help. Johnny Depp’s a shameless old hack too – The Hatter is Jack Sparrow before he went to sea. I did like the scope of the opening scenes that were shot on location however, when young Alice is being sold off like so much chattel for an alliance with a wealthy business partner; the elegant garden party looks completely beautiful. It was filmed at Antony House between the villages of Torpoint and Antony in Cornwall, England, a property managed by the National Trust but still lived in (by some cunning aristo plot) by the Carew Pole family. Some 250 extras from the villages appeared in the scene.