Alice Through The Looking Glass forgets that Wonderland stories are not about resolutions, but eccentric insanity.
Alice Through the Looking Glass Synopsis
After being ditched by her fiancé and losing her father’s ship, Alice meets Absolem and returns to Wonderland. There, the White Queen tells Alice that her dear friend the Mad Hatter is fading away because of his dead family, and that the only way to save him might be to manipulate time. Believing the White Queen’s advice, Alice journeys to meet Time, who is a part-human, part-clock demi-god, and in her desperation to save the Mad Hatter, steals Time’s Chronosphere. As she tumbles through history using the power of the Chronosphere, Alice learns the cause of the animosity between the Mad Hatter, the White Queen and the Red Queen. She also discovers that as Time cautioned, history might truly be unchangeable.
You’d agree with me when I say Alice in Wonderland was one of the darkest, most disturbing children’s story ever written? Beneath the eccentric characters and outrageous places are so many distressing questions. What was it all about? What did the characters represent? Did Alice really visit Wonderland, or was she a terribly disturbed child soon to grow into some kind of sociopath? If you think these questions are ridiculous, consider that many writers have long speculated about them. In 2000, there was actually a psychological horror game that portrayed Alice as a knife wielding asylum patient.
Alice in Wonderland (2010) firmly rejected these speculations by re-imagining Alice as a headstrong heroine destined to save Wonderland. In Alice Through the Looking Glass, they went a step further and included the theme of redemption through an epic adventure. This entertains, to an extent, and there are sporadic moments in the movie that either awes or enchants. Problem though, who reads or watches Alice stories for such moments? An Alice story is about flirting with the concept of insanity. It’s about madness and inexplicable idiosyncrasies. For every villain to be given a sympathetic back-story, and then to ultimately find satisfying salvation, doesn’t that just destroy the purpose? Wonderland, in the process, is also reduced to no more than your run-of-the-mill talking-animals fantasy world.
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