Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

And If You Go Chasing Rabbits…

… there’s a movie for you.

I just saw Tim Burton’s most recent movie, Alice in Wonderland. The movie has received mixed reviews, and most of the praise came for Tim Burton’s trademark art direction. The movie looks fantastic. However, a number of reviewers pointed out that this newest envisioning lacks the playful, wandering nature of Lewis Carol’s classic, relying more on a straightforward, conflict-driven narrative. I would agree with this point of view. This newest Alice in Wonderland is no longer a commentary on the absurdities in existence, but instead a bildungsroman chronicling the reconciliation of youthful fantasies and desires with the adult world. As a result, a story that once had cosmic and universal appeal now appeals to only a small section of the population concerned with the prolonged struggle of growing up, i.e. my generation, the “failure to launch” generation.

It seems to me that this is the essence of this newest Alice installment: an address to the young, capable, affluent people of my generation, still wandering the globe in the latest years of their twenties, walking into the absurdities of distant lands and strange cultures abroad, battling the absurdities of corporate, cog-in-the-wheel lifestyles at home, holding in their hearts powerful passions that they look at from afar, thinking them just long off dreams. There is a kind of quiet resignation that flows over all of us, often still stuck at home with our parents or drifting in faraway lands, that these two worlds – our passions, the world – are separate, irreconcilable. We become desperate. We find ourselves haunted by questions, as if spoken out loud: Where are you going? What are you doing? Who are you? Who… are… you?

There are, in fact, answers to these questions.

However, the resolution to them is difficult, and as the White Queens makes clear to Alice when discussing her battle with the Jabberwocky: “When you go there to do battle, you go alone.”


posted by ferret at 5:09 pm  

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