Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland

Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution. David Joseph Schwartz

And that, in essence, is the message behind this adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.”

A 19-year-old Alice journeys through Underland, where she experiences strange ordeals and encounters peculiar characters, including the vaporous Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and the sadistic Red Queen.

I admit it, the only reason I wanted to watch this movie was because it had Johnny Depp in it. And one of the biggest reasons Kevin DIDN’T want to watch it was because Johnny Depp was in it.

He’s not a big Johnny Depp fan, (nor a Robert Downy Junior fan). Why, you ask? Because he feels like both of these actors make their money on acting and looking “grungy.” He says they look dirty and unkempt and since we’re being honest here (when am I not, really), I’d have to say that that unkempt, “dirty” appearance is sort of what attracts me to them.

Not that I want Kevin to adopt that look, per se, but it IS sort of sexy – as long as I don’t have to live with it. Ha!

But I digress …

Have you noticed that a lot of “blockbuster” movies nowadays are all about the CG and/or the special effects? It seems like the message behind the movie (IF there is one), gets buried behind all of the other gunk that is going on within the “story.”

Not so with this movie. In fact, even though 85% of this movie IS CG, it somehow takes a back seat to the message: It’s okay to think outside the box.

Too many times, people stifle their creativity, or are afraid to go against “the norm,” (which really, what does that even mean nowadays??). The message in this movie is telling us, it’s okay to be weird, odd, or “different”, sometimes the weird, odd or different people are the best people.

They’re certainly the most entertaining, that’s for sure.

I think this message, especially, is important nowadays. It seems like more and more people are so willing to accept what is told them, or to go along with everyone else and no one stops to ask questions.

I’m all about asking questions – remember the “old” saying? “Question authority?” Yeah well, that’s me in a nutshell.

The message in this movie is “it’s okay to believe in something because sometimes believing in something is what makes something happen.”

Can you imagine going through life and NOT believing in anything? What a sad way to live one’s life.

I really appreciated how the people in the Red Queen’s court all took it upon themselves to exaggerate some portion of themselves. They did this in order to make the Red Queen feel better about her over-sized head. They changed some part of themselves in order to “belong” or not to stand out too much. Again with the conformity. Why are people so afraid to be different? Especially nowadays when “diversity” is seemingly “acceptable?”

I mean, if people were truly more willing to embrace diversity then why are so many people so determined NOT to be diverse?

This movie was also about not being afraid to find oneself. I think too many times, people get in a hurry to belong to or conform to society’s expectations. Whether that’s to a group, an organization, or even to another person. I thought it was refreshing when Alice turned down the marriage proposal so that she would have the time and means to follow her own path. She refused to conform to other people’s expectations for what she “ought” or “should” do with her life. Life is short – take advantage of the time you have and EXPLORE who/what you are or are capable of becoming.

Alice showed true strength and ultimately didn’t care what people thought of her; I think that’s a lesson that a lot of us can learn from.

Rating: A-

*Interesting side note: We were watching the special features (by the way, did you know that a growing number of Netflix DVD’s do not have the special features? That’s because the movie production companies are trying to get you to buy, as opposed to rent, the DVD’s. Which, I GET, but still – BOO), and Johnny Depp was talking a bit about the history of “Mad Hatters,” they really existed. The ladies who made hats, back in the day, would use a glue high in Mercury. After a while, the mercury would start to poison the minds of the “hatters” and they would go insane from the poisoning.

I love how there is almost always an element of truth in fiction.

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