Alice In Wonderland: The TRAVIS Review

Five years ago, I would have been standing in line eagerly awaiting the foretold psychedelic journey that was Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Had I been older in the 80’s, I would have found myself standing in line to watch a similar psychedelic tale starring Johnny Depp.  Of course, last week I eagerly awaited Burton’s newest venture into the psychedelic: Alice in Wonderland, also starring Depp.

Alice in Wonderland is a strange account of drug-use from Lewis Carroll,  Jefferson Airplane would agree.  Having not read the book, I have a feeling I am missing out on some great symbolism. Burton’s incarnation of Wonderland only adds to the enigma of what the story is truly about.  As a species, man is fascinated by alternate realities that are the opposite of our own reality. That’s the real genius of Burton’s films, he takes everyday life and flips it upside down.  Nightmare Before Christmas was the opposite of so many Christmas movies. Alice in Wonderland was written to be adapted by Burton.  In each film we see yet another alternate reality that manages to take a tiny portrait of society gone awry.

The magic of Alice in Wonderland, aside from computer-graphics and opium-inspired storyline, is the chemistry. Burton, Depp, and Burton’s wife, Helena Bonham Carter are a seemingly inseparable trio. Perhaps they consider themselves a performing troupe similar to John Hughes gang in the ‘80s, or the more modern band that Seth Rogen employs. Personally, I like to think that the trio are just successful, flower-child, swingers that are ensnared in a hippie love triangle.

What’s next for Burton?  My guess is The Wizard of Oz.  It’s his logical next 3step: a children’s movie that has universal appeal.  Why he hasn’t made it yet?  He likely is having difficulty deciding whether Depp should play the Tinman, the Scarecrow, or Toto.  Obviously, Carter will be Dorothy, although she would make a great Wicked Witch of the West.

By Bryan Myers

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