Alice Through The Looking Glass – DVD Review
Kate Beckinsale’s adventures in TV-land
"You might very well think I look a prat - I couldn't possibly comment."
Release Date: 7 November 2011
1998 | PG | 83 minutes | £12.99
Distributor: Channel 4
Director: John Henderson
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Ian Holm, Steve Coogan, Penelope Wilton, Marc Warren
Surrealism, hilarity and insanity – all qualities at the heart of Lewis Carroll’s writing and this fantastic Channel Four adaptation. Fuelled by haunting choral, whimsical instrumental and even a segment of experimental experimental rock music, Alice Through The Looking Glass is a children’s storybook on LSD, and then some.
The story relishes randomness; our heroine journeys across a giant chessboard encountering flies with Cornish pasty bodies, a shop-owning talking goat and a lot of poems concerning fish. Ultimately, the moral is to do what the film does: have childish fun and enjoy yourself without restraint.
Kate Beckinsale is a quietly charming Alice, but the host of characters she meets on her journey are fabulous; Ian Holm’s endearing White Knight, Penelope Wilton’s brilliantly befuddled White Queen and Steve Coogan’s amusing gnat are highlights, while Marc Warren plays Tweedle-Dee as a rather threatening combination of petulant toddler and Alex from A Clockwork Orange.
Carroll’s poems are given refreshing attention in a series of quirky episodes, each in a different style. “The Walrus And The Carpenter” is a hallucinatory, part-stopmotion music video, while Ian Holm narrates a sweet black-and-white film-inspired segment for “The Aged Aged Man”.
Especially in comparison with other recent Carroll adaptations, this is a treasure. Children will love its colourful characters and slapstick humour, while adults can revel in wonderful performances and its faithfulness to the magnificent madness of Lewis Carroll.