Last night Geektown reporter Sam dug out her glad rags and headed to Leicester Square to attend Sky 3D/Sky Movies HD and Walt Disney’s Royal Premiere of Tim Burton’s newest fantastical creation, Alice in Wonderland.
World Premiere of Alice in Wonderland
Walking the green carpet with the stars of the film surrounded by giant topiary animals and screaming fans with bunny ears and painted faces definitely set the scene for the weird and wonderful world ahead. Of course, being England, umbrellas were an essential part of the outfit, but despite the foul weather, the glamorous cast made huge efforts to meet and greet fans, Johnny Depp in particular spending almost an hour standing in the rain signing autographs. He is lovely isn’t he (I was slightly concerned we’d just get 100s of photos of Johnny Depp back from Sam, but she managed to restrain herself – Dave ;) ).
Once inside and away from the glitz and soggy paparazzi, the audience watched Alex Zane interview the cast from the warmth of their seats before viewing a short documentary on the work of The Prince’s Foundation for Children & The Arts. Attended by Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall, the event was in aid of the charity with two thirds of proceedings being donated. The Royal Party, arriving last, were welcomed by important film bods and chatted to Tim Burton and the cast before being presented gifts by Burton and Boham-Carter’s children. They entered the cinema to the sound of trumpets and God Save the Queen before Tim Burton himself introduced the film and its key cast members on stage. Finally, buzzing the with excitement, we donned our 3D specs and the film began…
Review of Alice in Wonderland
Of course, being Burton, you can not expect a straight retelling of the original Lewis Carroll story. In fact, it is more of a sequel seeing Alice, now 19, return to Wonderland with only a faint recollection of her previous adventures down the rabbit hole.
Alice Kingsley (Mia Wasikowska) escapes an unwanted marriage proposal by following a strange white rabbit and is once more plunged into a fantastically eccentric world of spectacular creatures. Growing up believing that her dreams of blue caterpillars and vanishing cats were just that, she does not remember anything she learnt on her last visit, leading the inhabitants of Underland, as it is correctly called, to excuse her of being the wrong Alice. She is quickly reunited with old friends like Dormouse and Tweedledum and Tweedledee and starts a journey that she is told will lead her to slaying the Jabberwock dragon, the only thing that stops The White Queen (Anne Hathaway) reclaiming her crown and ending the terrible reign of her sister, The Queen of Hearts.
Australian Wasikowska is brilliantly cast as the curious and dreamy Alice, she is more demure and less spoilt than the Alice we knew before. Burton’s favorites Depp and Bonham-Carter, prove why they are so with fantastic performances as the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts. The screeching demands of the over sized royal head are reminiscent of Blackadder’s Queenie and are just as amusing whilst Depp brings new depths of emotion to his character, highlighted by his mood reflective, colour changing clothes. You will hear plenty of familiar voices throughout the film, Timothy Spall, Paul Whitehouse, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry and Christopher Lee, all chosen to perfection. Burton, admittedly a big Eastenders fan, shows his love of British TV by casting Barbara Windsor as the feisty Dormouse and Matt Lucas as the Tweedle twins, I mean… was that part made for him or what?!
The film does not make too much of its 3D element but it is definitely the right kind of genre for it. As you move through Burton’s imaginings of Wonderland you feel yourself taken in by the characters and scenery as Alice does. That coupled with a Danny Elfman soundtrack makes Alice in Wonderland a sensory delight that is definitely worth a trip to the cinema. It was everything we’ve come to expect from a Tim Burton film. Original, enchanting and captivating.