‘Alice’ sequel is beautiful, entertaining

Saturday May 28, 2016 Written by Published in Entertainment

THE DIRECTOR of 2010 fantasy adventure movie Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton was not wrong when he said the fairytale that inspired the movie was like, “drugs for children.”

 

Who doesn’t like the tale of Alice and her adventures in the whimsical world of “Underland?”

Burton’s 2010 movie was a revelation, a new generation cinema rendition of a story which has been passed down from generation to generation throughout the world.

It made Alice in Wonderland look as beautiful as it felt while reading through author Lewis Carroll’s work of fictional brilliance.

Six years later, filmmaker Burton has spearheaded another ambitious project but this time as one of the producers of Alice Through the Looking Glass, a sequel to Alice in Wonderland.

Three years on after her first Underland experience, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) has taken over her late father’s shipping business.

After successfully guiding her crew back home to London in a dangerous expedition from China, she learns her ex-fiancé Hamish Ascot (Leo Bill) has taken over her father’s business.

In a rage at Hamish’s party, Alice follows a butterfly that turns out to be Absolem (the blue caterpillar in the tale), through a mirror to Underland.

In Underland, she reunites with the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the White Rabbit, Tweedles, the Dormouse, Bayard and the Cheshire Cat.

Alice learns that her dear friend Tarrant Hightopp, the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), is unwell.

Upon enquiring, she learns Hatter has found something which makes him think that his family is still alive, although it is believed that they perished in the Attack of the Jabberwocky years ago.

In order to provide relief to Hatter’s deteriorating health, the White Queen asks Alice to visit Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) and convince him to have her save Hatter’s family from the Attack of the Jabberwocky.

Time advises Alice that altering the past isn’t possible. But she ignores his advice after learning the exiled Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) is in Time’s company.

Alice steals the Chronosphere (the time travelling device) and travels back in time where she learns the truth behind the ugly present.

The visuals in Alice Through the Looking Glass are out of this world and for the audience, capture the imagined beauty of the Underworld.

English director James Bobin steers a cast of stars with an equal devotion to ensure each of them gets a fair share of screen space – although I would have loved to see more of Hatter.

But kudos to him for maintaining the flow in the movie which constantly goes back and forth to past and present day.

Depp, probably one of the most versatile actors, does what he is best known for: some brilliant acting.

His quirky, bouncy portrayal blends well with the character he plays. Hatter is someone who is known to be disturbed or confused, exhibits loss of self-confidence, is anxious and has a desire to remain unobserved.

At 26, stunning Australian actress Wasikowska may look a bit old to play the Alice we know from Carroll’s books, but she still enchants with her beauty and the daring portrayal of her character.

Alice is an adventure-loving and caring person and with those wandering eyes, Wasikowska stands as true and beautiful as the original character.

The most amazing entry in this franchise is Time – half-clockwork, half-human demigod. And Cohen hits the nail on the head with an outstanding portrayal.

There’s a saying, that time is the friend of no man. However, Cohen makes you believe otherwise with a pleasant performance.

The climax of the movie is craftily designed to give Alice Through the Looking Glass the fairytale ending it deserves.

It seems predictable at start, but then the setting changes and you are left clueless as to what will happen next.

Alice Through the Looking Glass is not only visually impressive but it’s a smart illustration of a tale which has ruled the hearts and minds of youngsters for centuries.

In fact, the movie makes you appreciate the beauty of life and its essence.

It’s about the past. A past that we cannot change, but can surely learn a lot from.

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