Mar 11, 2010

Wonderland – Illusion and Reality

This past weekend, my family and I went to see “Alice in Wonderland” at the theater. Folks, you definitely will want to catch this on the big screen, rather than waiting for the video or passing it by, thinking it is just for kids.

I thoroughly got caught up in the fantasy of Wonderland, thanks to incredible atmospheric visuals and special effects and the acting skills of a shining cast of stars. When Alice prepares to drink the Jabberwocky blood that will bring her back home to her London life, I wanted her to stay in Wonderland, where the illusions are so much more real than the reality of her flat and insincere life in London. But while in Wonderland, Alice goes within to re-awaken her true self and she brings that true self back upon her return – and chooses what is best for Alice.

There are many metaphysical threads woven through this film that may be barely noticed due to the almost overwhelming and richly stimulating visual content. I found myself mesmerized by the eyes of every character – something I cannot recall experiencing with any other film I’ve ever seen. In “Alice in Wonderland”, the eyes have it, and I will be watching this a few more times to look longer and deeper into those eyes. For many, this film is just simply fine entertainment the whole family can enjoy, and that is fine, too. Truth is a seed that, once planted, can take its time germinating.

The character of the Red Queen was particularly fascinating to watch. I could fill pages writing about the complexity of her character and what she represents, but that might bore you. Go see the film and meet her in person. Despite her wickedness, I found myself liking her. She is the darkness in us all. Her deepest question is whether it is better to be loved than feared. She is jealous of the love her sister, the White Queen, has in abundance. Underneath the jealousy is the longing of her heart. Ultimately she must choose love or fear for herself.

Today I came across a wonder-ful video that brought to mind “Alice in Wonderland” and reminded me that I had intended to write something (but for days I had no idea what I wanted to say beyond, “This is a great movie – see it!”) about the movie. This is not a video of a girl falling down a rabbit hole, but it is about illusion and reality and love and fear. Please take the time to watch it and treat yourself to “Alice in Wonderland”, too.

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1 comment:

  1. You almost have me wanting to see this movie. Almost. I just can't stand Tim Burton. I've loathed almost every one of his movies. But I do love Alice. I've been fixated on Alice for months. I even reread the book recently because I couldn't get it out of my head. Like so many children's stories it's so shamanic. She goes through a hole in the ground. She interacts with animal totems and chimeras. So shamanic. I've just been afraid this would be another Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Burton has a real gift for ruining great stories.


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