Just in time for its DVD release on June 1st, here are some of my thoughts, plus some gathered tidbits to serve as a little guide to help you as you wander through Wonderland.
Symbolism and Themes from the Story
• From a child’s perspective the world is full of strange things…. We become jaded as we get older because we think we have it all figured out. But this story tries to take us back to that child-like state of awe, wonder, as well as the confusion and fear that come with it. (And really without all of that, life can be pretty boring. Better to be childlike, I think!)
• Nature themes – The flowers and animals talk, (one of the six impossible things listed by Alice), but perhaps that means we should listen. The Red Queen prefers dominion over animals, (which sounds quite Biblical), using them as furniture and croquet sets (much like Flintstones, but with a bitter edge). However her attempts at control failed her. The lovely white queen befriended the animals and that became Alice’s advantage as well. Nature is a powerful force, so it’s much better when it’s on your side!
• The magic of the growing and shrinking potions that are used to reach things that are up high or walk through small doors makes me think of Western society’s obsession with pharmaceuticals – the instant fix for the smallest of problems. Though the story does show that instant fixes offer a different set of problems – like clothes that suddenly don’t fit, or otherwise not fitting into a situation.
• Our heroine Alice gets a lot of costume changes this time! Including a shiny set of armor that still manages to look pretty! Perhaps this symbolizes her multi-faceted personality. She learns to takes charge and forge ahead both in the imaginary world and the real one.
Okay, I know it's not terribly timely, but I was moved enough to share, and I know there are people who haven't yet seen it. So here you go:
This version has spoilers. To read the one without spoilers (or just for fun!) go to my posting on the Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0795421/usercomments-385.
1. Those ABBA people are great songwriters.
2. Mamma Mia's storyline is compelling, good-feeling and tugs on the right heart-strings…enough to overcome the difficulty of believing that Meryl Streep's character is musical, and the unfortunate general lack of chemistry between cast members. Or maybe it's because I saw it alone on DVD instead of in a theater full of people. It's possible.
3. If you love someone enough, the way I love Pierce Brosnan, it doesn't matter if their singing makes you cringe…it'll pass. And …potential spoiler…Pierce Brosnan looks pretty damn good in a disco jumpsuit it turns out. (Oh how I love that man….)
4. Hope and love are ageless–I figure the "older crowd" in this film should be around 40, (since Sophie is 20 and Donna wasn't allowed to return home when she got pregnant–usually something a teen would say). But Meryl is 59 and Pierce is 55, and darn it, people of all ages deserve another chance at love!
5. If you love someone enough, (SPOILER) when they play a character who isn't "batting for your team", you don't believe it…even when they act/dance it convincingly. (I love me some Colin Firth too).
6. If you love a song enough, you'll keep watching even if it's not being performed by your favorite performers…and in this case–the movie's end credits–it's TOTALLY worth it.
The moral of the review: A good storyline and well-written, much-beloved songs can overcome almost anything!