Friday, March 19, 2010
Alice in Wonderland
The best I can say about Tim Burton is that I prefer Mars Attacks to Independence Day. Burton's Alice In Wonderland, which should be called Return to Wonderland or Alice in Underland, is a disappointment on most fronts. It mangles the story of the Alice books into something like the Narnia tale of good battling evil. Except that Burton doesn't believe in good, so he makes it a fight between evil and less bad.
Some of the characters , like Tweedledum and Tweedledee and the Cheshire Cat, are nicely imagined. But making the Mad Hatter, the Doormouse and the Rabbit into subversives determined to restore order to the land by replacing the Red Queen with the White one was never going to work.
The music stands out for its atrociousness, Burton must be tone deaf to have allowed that stuff within a mile of his film. And the special effects make you appreciate exactly what an advance Avatar constitutes. The most disappointing thing about the 8.45 pm screening we caught at INOX was the lack of kids in the auditorium. Scanning the crowd when the lights came on at the interval, I noticed just four children in a crowd of about 100. I can understand 10th graders being preoccupied with their exams, but the low attendance of youngsters, and the consequent failure of Alice In Wonderland at the Indian box-office, signals that even ten and twelve year olds these days are being made to sit home cramming text books.