Alice’s unnecessary journey Through the Looking Glass

Published: May 30, 2016
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Following through with Lewis Carrolls’ two-book series, the movie Alice: Through the Looking Glass, directed by James Bohin, was recently released in theatres, but it did not fare so well at the box office. It felt like an unnecessary sequel to Alice in Wonderland (2010). Alice (Mia Wasikowska) inevitably returns to Underland through a giant mirror in order to help her dear friend, The Hatter (Johnny Depp), who is lamenting the “loss” of his family.

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) inevitably returns to Underland through a giant mirror in order to help her dear friend, The Hatter (Johnny Depp), who is lamenting the “loss” of his family.
Photo: IMDb

Alice: Through the Looking Glass, directed by James Bohin, was recently released in theatres.
Photo: IMDb

First things first: the movie started out slow. We observed Alice’s determination to help The Hatter, even to the extent of putting the whimsical world, made possible due to CGI effects, itself at stake. The high colour levels in the movie (which seemed flashy at times) make everything seem fake and fail to provide anything new to the movie.

First things first: the movie started out slow.
Photo: IMDb

Throughout the film, Alice’s character hardly changed. Perhaps she learned the importance of looking, and hence moving, forward instead of backwards. Perhaps she learned to live in the moment. Perhaps she further solidified her friendships with the inhabitants of her childhood dreamland. I use ‘perhaps’ because the overall moral of the movie, at least in my opinion, was rather flimsy and open to interpretation.

The characters apart from Alice did, however, change. Pasts were revealed, for instance, what led to the Red Queen becoming wicked, and characters (and their motives in the first film) were explained. Sacha Baron Cohen plays the character of Time and manages to provide entertaining moments throughout the movie. Time, and its lack thereof, was the general theme. The fluidity of time made for an interesting experience — to see that even the worst of people were once innocent, and even good. Surprisingly enough, I found the most relatable character to be the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter). Whether hers was truly a flawed and tortured character, or the others were simply completely un-relatable, is rather subjective. So I leave that for the viewer to decide.

Sacha Baron Cohen plays the character of Time.
Photo: IMDb

Surprisingly enough I found the most relatable character to be the Red Queen.
Photo: IMDb

Is this a coming of age film? No. It’s the movie after the coming of age film. Kind of pointless with an overwhelming plot and lack lustre performances, but still somewhat entertaining. Disney hinted at turning this into a trilogy, though I hope they do not, for their sake.

Is this a coming of age film? No. It’s the movie after the coming of age film.
Photo: IMDb

The one quote that did stick out to me though, was something I feel a lot of us in this day and age when in so many circumstances, history has and is almost eerily doomed to repeat itself, should realise:

“You can’t change the past. At best, you can learn from it.”

Danial Nadeem

Danial Nadeem

The author recently completed his A' levels and is on a gap year. He tweets as @ @DanialNadeem9 (twitter.com/DanialNadeem9)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.