26 January 2000 | alice liddell
A missed opportunity that could probably never be taken.
Without infringing on the IMDb guidelines, can I just suggest that this film is a disappointing visualisation of the greatest book ever written? Lewis Carroll's masterpiece is too mercurial to depict - taken out of its literary context, its ideas, incidents and characters simply don't make sense. Its humour and traumas are literary and philosophical. The filmmakers fail to adapt forms, instead relying on swathes of dialogue.
Different film styles are used to try and disrupt normality, a la Carroll, but the incoherent script, uncertain acting and muffled diction only grate. There is no sense of narrative momentum (even if only to be subverted), and targets are missed because it is unclear what they are. Changing the book's view from that of a child to a woman renders the whole exercise redundant. Graver still is the unwillingness to trust the audience - the dream/reality ambiguity, crucial to the book's meaning, is too clearcut. The colours and set design can be extremely beautiful though.