“When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is walking backwards
And the Red Queen’s lost her head
Remember what the dormouse said.”
Can we change history by traveling back in time? This very interesting question is posed in the new movie Alice Through The Looking Glass. At first glance you might think this is a kid’s film, but don’t be fooled; this is actually a quite complicated story that will most appeal to adults and fantasy/ sci fi fans.
A Steam-punk Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is captain of The Wonder, her deceased father’s ship, circa 1870. After three years out at sea, Alice returns to her home town to find her life in shambles. The evil Hamish has taken over her father’s company. Her mother’s fortune is in jeopardy and Alice must give her up her beloved ship, resign as captain and take a boring job as a desk clerk.
In a moment of confusion Alice retreats to the parlor and follows a butterfly through the mirror. She then lands in Underland where the real trouble begins.
Alice’s best friend the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) has gone into a state of depression regarding his family and painful past incidents. Alice is given a mission by the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) to travel back in time in order to change situations that have created grief — not only for the Hatter, but for many other characters. People in general. You and me probably…
Everyone knows the Grandfather Theory regarding time travel. That is — if you travel back in time and kill your grandfather, you could never be born (because Grandpa wasn’t around to sire your father, hence your father could not sire you.) Which would also mean you would not be there to time travel in the first place. Which would mean time travel is impossible.
Quantum physicists, however, have recently made some new discoveries, and are now theorizing that there may actually be as many as eleven different dimensions, through some of which time travel would be possible. Your grandfather is thus existing in a completely different dimension of space and time. Kill him in one dimension and he still is alive in another. Yes, kind of like Schrodinger’s cat. (This based upon Einstein’s theory and the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics, suggesting that particles can exist in two separate states, depending upon a conditional variable and how it is observed.)
“Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.” Or have they?
Back to the movie! Alice’s mission involves stealing the magic chrono-meter, which can enable her to travel through time, but can also basically destroy the world if it falls into the wrong hands. And you know it WILL fall into the wrong hands. Enter the evil Red Queen (Helena Bohman Carter).
Time incarnate (Sasha Baron Cohen) is an actual person, or maybe a robot of sorts — like I said, this is all very Steam-punkish. He has some really cool supernatural blue eyes. See this movie in 3D for an awesome surreal experience! Psychedelic gardens, a talking butterfly, weird-funky hats and variety of time pieces which determine one’s death. Plus a disappearing cat. (No coincidence there, Schrodinger.)
I am a HUGE fan of the original Alice in Wonderland books. This movie, however, has absolutely nothing to do with the books. Do not expect a replica of Carroll’s tales. What the writers have done is create a new, thought provoking story revolving around the original characters.
Lewis Carroll was a mathemetician. He was actually an Oxford professor of mathematics, interested in time travel, the subconscious mind, photography and mirror imagery, as well as storytelling and poetry. Alice Through The Looking Glass keeps the magical sentiment of Carroll’s original books and also stays true to the provocative questions he had in mind when he wrote them.
I absolutely LOVED this movie. If you are a fan of fantasy, time travel, Steam-punk or sci fi I think you will like it too. Oh yeah, and the voice of the butterfly iis the late great Alan Rickman in probably his last performance. Which is somehow poetically and metaphorically correct…
Here is a picture of the real Alice Liddell, inspiration for the books. When in doubt, go ask Alice, or perhaps go ask Lewis. In any case, Feed Your Head 🙂