Alice Through the Looking Glass ~ A Capsule Movie Review by Allen Kopp
In Wonderland, Time is a “he” with electric blue eyes, a mustache, and an accent. He tells the Red Queen that her head is looking “wery, wery large today.” The Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), besides having an enormous head (out of all proportion to the rest of her body), has a tiny red heart painted in the middle of her lips (to show the smallness of her heart?) and a profusion of red hair. Nobody loves her, she says, but we know the reason for that is because she is so mean and loves to have people’s heads cut off. (“Off with his head!”, she shouts.) The White Queen, her fluttery sister, tells her that she loves her, if nobody else does, but the Red Queen isn’t having any of it. She hates being hugged.
The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) also has a profusion of red hair and enormous eyes that change color with his mood. He is rather androgynous and speaks with a lisping accent that is at times indecipherable. His friends (the Cheshire Cat, who floats in the air and disappears and reappears at will; Tweedledum and Tweedledee, rotund male twins; a dormouse, a dog, and a rabbit, all of whom speak English) are worried about him and think he might be dying.
Absolem, a blue, sometime-caterpillar/sometime butterfly, shows Alice (Mia Wasikowska) the way to return to Wonderland through the large mirror over the mantel. She is needed back in Wonderland after her earlier adventures there because the Mad Hatter, her “best friend in the whole world,” is in trouble. When she visits Hatter in his house shaped exactly like a top hat, she finds him in a low state. He tells Alice he wants her help in getting his family back and, when she tells him that getting them back is impossible because they are dead, he orders her out of his house. The Alice he knows, he says, never believed that anything was impossible.
Alice agrees to at least try to get Hatter’s family back, but she knows it will be very difficult, if not downright impossible. She must first manipulate Time (Sacha Baron Cohen), to be able to travel back to an earlier period when Hatter’s family was still alive. When she is finally able to travel back in time, she meets the Red Queen and her sister, the White Queen, as children, before the Red Queen became so mean. She also meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee before they were grown up and also meets Hatter as a child. Of course, he doesn’t have any recollection of Alice at this time because he hasn’t met her yet.
Alice Through the Looking Glass is a sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, both of them based on literary classics by English author Lewis Carroll. It’s colorful, imaginative and whimsical, full of bizarre characters and fantastic settings. For the child in all of us.
Copyright © 2016 by Allen Kopp