Decent Films Mail > Mailbag #19

Re: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

In a response to a reader, you wrote:

Alice is a quite ordinary little girl; this, indeed is integral to the narrative strategy of this kind of fantastic tale, in which extremely odd things happen to a very ordinary character. The whole point is that Alice could be anybody. The attempt to turn her into an interesting character with her own back story and issues is fundamentally un-Carolinian, I think.

Bingo. I was just explaining to someone yesterday that the problem plaguing all adaptations of Alice is the fact that she is not a character, she is the tool the author uses to thrust the reader into Wonderland. She herself is the most uninteresting part of the books, and her dialogue mainly consists of asking questions the reader might want answered from the odd people she meets. She does not make a good protagonist because she is the most paper thin part of the books. Not to mention that the books are not plot-based; the are merely a series of vignettes strung together by the one unifying device that is Alice. Trying to shape these stories into a single cohesive narrative does not simply does not work.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. This kind of story needs a filmmaker willing to work in a haphazard, nonlinear style — which Burton at his best is probably well suited for, given the right combination of material and screenwriter. Perhaps the fault is Woolverton’s.

Link to this entry

Coming Soon

Recently Added

In Theaters – Latest

In Theaters – All