Sunday, January 16, 2011

Alice in Wonderland

The second-highest domestic-grossing film of 2010 was Alice in Wonderland. The movie brought in more than $334 million in the U.S. and more than $1 billion worldwide.

Initially I avoided seeing this movie because it seemed creepier than I would like. I ended up watching about a third of it when it was the film showing on a train I happened to be on. I fell asleep rather quickly, and then caught some bits and pieces near the end, so we'll see how long I stay awake this time. After all, this time, it's for science.

blug1.png blug2.png blug3.png The movie opens with "Charles" and several other Victorian-looking men debating the merits of some "venture." It turns out that Charles is Alice's father.

pink1.png pink2.png pink3.png The action skips ahead thirteen years, and Alice is riding in a carriage with an older woman, maybe her mother. They talk about what Alice is wearing, and Alice's dream (which is always the same one).

Alice in Wonderland easily passes all three levels of both the Original Bechdel and Reverse Bechdel tests in the first five minutes. And these are not isolated examples. Alice in Wonderland passes both OB and RB multiple times throughout the movie. For example, Alice has nice, long conversations with both the Red Queen and the White Queen, about matters like the Red Queen's head and Alice's claimed home of Umbridge. The Mad Hatter has a few conversations with the Cheshire Cat (who I am assuming from his voice is male) about hats and futterwacken. There are also many second-level Bechdel conversations (about someone of the opposite sex), such as Alice talking about Hamish with her sister and with Hamish's mother, or the Knave of Hearts and the Bloodhound talking about Alice.

The movie is definitely female-dominated. All the male characters in Wonderland (with the possible exception of the caterpillar Absolem) are shown in direct subservience to women (namely the Red Queen or the White Queen). The only independent male characters are outside Wonderland, in England. Of these, Alice's brother-in-law is shown cheating on his wife, Hamish is portrayed as a buffoon and Alice's father is killed off-screen after the first scene. Hamish's father is the only independent male character to survive and not make a fool of himself (again, with the possible exception of Absolem).

While Alice's father is killed off-screen, there are two families in Alice in Wonderland that are shown to have both a mother and a father: Hamish's family and the Bloodhound's family.

No comments:

Post a Comment