Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Alice in Wonderland - A Trip into a Dream

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is a colorful, dream-like movie that truly engages the audience into the magical land of Alice and all her friends. In the beginning of the movie, Alice is clearly unhappy with her life and her relationships with several people, including her mother. She runs off into the woods after spotting a rabbit wearing some sort of vest with a pocket watch. No one else sees this rabbit, so Alice is left to trust only her own vision. She acts upon this instinct because she possesses a great desire to find an escape from reality, and that is what she is able to do as she follows the rabbit down a hole before seeming to fall hundreds of feet before landing relatively unharmed in a strange room and eventually, in Wonderland.

Burton does an incredible job of drawing the audience in to the setting using bright colors, such as the plants in the forest and the color of the Mad Hatter’s face and hair. The weird creatures and animals accentuate the dream-like feel of the movie, and I was instantly drawn in. When I watch Alice in Wonderland, I feel like I am experiencing an escape from reality and it is very to indulge in such a feeling while watching a movie because I believe it enhances the viewer’s entertainment. I, too, find myself wondering if Alice will be accepted as The Alice that is required to slay the dragon, or wondering why the Mad Hatter is in such a fragile, kooky state for a majority of the movie. Her relationships with the other characters help to develop the mysteries and themes of the movie and as it progresses, it truly seems real. I find myself questioning if Wonderland is actually a reality for Alice, and how she will balance her two worlds. This is the effect that dreams often have on the mind; we involuntarily lose focus of what is real and what is not when we are dreaming. I often think dreams are real when I have them, and that is the reaction Alice in Wonderland draws from me.

This movie is certainly relevant to movies that we have watched in class, in such a way that we question the mind and the surroundings in the movies in order to try and decipher reality from imagination. However, I think Alice in Wonderland is different in that, as a viewer, I enjoy Alice’s trip through her dream-like experience. In other films we have watched that question reality, I found myself concerned for the characters’ well-being. While I remained curious while watching Burton’s film and the ending was suspenseful, the movie still felt like a dream more so than a nightmare. Along with all of the visual effects and Burton’s ability to take his characters along on Alice’s journey, I thoroughly enjoy watching Alice in Wonderland.

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