I thought I would start a new category of “reviews” for when I discuss both the book and its movie. Here is the inaugural post.
As I’ve previously mentioned, my book club read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass this month in anticipation for the new movie. On Sunday, we all met at the movie theater, watched the movie (the 3D-Imax version), and then headed over to Panera to discuss.
I have never read Alice in Wonderland before. Which surprises me a little considering how much I read when I was a kid. And I wish I had read this when I was younger because I think 9-year-old Michelle would have really enjoyed it. But 27-year-old Michelle is glad she finally did read it.
Alice and Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are nonsense books that contain quirky characters, witty wordplay, and, although it may not seem so at first glance, an underlying theme about growing up. I actually enjoyed Through the Looking Glass more – even though I was the only one in my book club who felt that way. It’s hard to describe these books and they are better experienced than reviewed.
On to the movie. Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland was in fact wonderful. The movie takes place years after the events in the books when Alice is a young adult on the verge of being married. Once again she follows a rabbit through the rabbit hole and is thrust into the role of savior of Underland (what she called Wonderland as a child). The film is visually stunning and the characters are marvelously imagined. There is some artistic license given – the red queen from TTLG and the queen of hearts from AIW are combined into one and the mad hatter (how can you not love Johnny Depp?) is given a prominent role despite his relatively brief scene in the book. Oh, and the costumes are fantastic.
I’ve heard some negative opinions of the film and I don’t entirely know why. It isn’t like the books, so maybe that’s what people were expecting, but I was thoroughly entertained. It reminded me a lot of Hook (one of my favorite movies). Both feature the grown-up version of the main character from the book who must return to the fairytale land of their childhood. Neither remember their earlier adventures and both must take on a role they don’t think they want yet clearly destined for.
I definitely recommend the movie.