Once upon a time Tim Burton made an Alice in Wonderland movie nobody was waiting for. But thinking back if there never had been made a film ever before he would be the most suited to do it. I remember the film being adequate and that it was visually astonishing but story wise it let down a bit. Now a sequel has been made nobody was waiting for and I was cynical and skeptic. And actually was a little hesitant to watch it.
But I took the plunge and watched it and I am so glad I did because Alice Through the Looking Glass charmed me with it's beautiful and endearing story. What you have to understand is that this film is only loosely based on Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and what Alice Found There (1871). For the most part this is an original story set in the Alice in Wonderland universe. And that probably is the most brilliant move they could have made. This way they could do all these incredible things without having to stay true to already established stories and characters. It also might be a very convenient one but whatever works is good right? So what is the deal? Hatter Tarrant Hightopp (Johnny Depp) is not well. He is shutting off his friends and he seems to becoming more darker and depressed by the minute. Alice who by accident has entered Wonderland (through the Looking Glass) is asked to do something about it. Hatter tells her that he is sure that his family who he thought were killed in the attack of the Jabberwocky have survived their ordeal. Alice is under the impression that Hatter is too Grief-stricken and can't see reason anymore. But after telling the White Queen what the issue is about she tells her that there is way to save his family. There is this device (chronosphere) in possession by Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) which allows the person to travel back in time. Now I am getting a little tired of time travel being used as the solution to everything but I think that it's handled quite nicely. I can't tell you how since that would be spoiling but just trust me on this you will like what is done with the concept. Alice basically steals this device from Time even after he has told and warned her that the consequences of using the device will be too big and dangerous. But isn't that what they always say in time travel drama's? Anyway after escaping from Time through time Alice discovers a few matters that are very essential in helping out her friend Hatter. It is here where we find out why the Red Queen Iracebeth is so evil. And she is deliciously evil in this one. But also other things that I won't spoil for you.
The overall message of this film might be something Disney has been preaching in almost of all their movies but it is one that struck a cord with me since it is done magnificently. I honestly don't understand the hate for this film and certainly disagree with this film lacking heart and being a cash grab. Alice Through the Looking Glass is all heart and soul as it is very endearing and touching. You get to see different sides to established characters. And while that might not have been as the original writer Lewis Carroll had intended it made sense to me and because of that made it much more interesting. After reading some reviews and comments I am beginning to think some people have become too cynical and pessimistic for their own good. They can't appreciate positive uplifting stories anymore. All they want now is death, destruction and darkness. Besides while this film is touching and sweet it's also full of darkness and serious drama. Only on a much smaller and personal scale. Almost every element of this films ticks (no pun intended. ok maybe a little). The cast is really good and Johnny Depp shows he can do more than just being quirky and goofy. Mia Wasikowska impresses as Alice and I liked that she was this strong and confident woman. She is far from perfect. Actually she is very flawed and at times very villainous even if it is for righteous reasons. But that makes her very interesting. Sacha Baron Cohen once again confirms that he is a brilliant actor. Do I really need to mention how phenomenal Helena Bonham Carter is?
Alice Through the Looking Glass surprised me completely. I went in an a skeptic and came out a believer. This film is better than the Tim Burton original in every way and deserves to be watched. So go watch it already.