Movie Review Monday: The Wonderland

I didn’t think I was a person that needed romance in movies. I impulsively brought this ticket because I was upset I missed the showing of “Weathering You”. I felt I needed to compensate that lose another movie only to realize that there is another showing for “Weathering You” in late February. 

Anyways. . .

I thought of this movie as Alice and Wonderland meets Wizard of Oz meets Beauty and the Beast and I’m not mad about it. It is based off of the children’s book “Strange Journey From the Basement” by Sachiko Kashiwaba. And aren’t all children movies similar? The flow of the movie was seamless and while I saw similarities of other movies within it didn’t stop it from being completely original. The Wonderland is a movie full of adventure and finding the courage to do what’s right. The writers did a good job of dropping pieces of the plot evenly throughout the movie so that it was hard to guess what would happen next until right before they showed us. [Or I’m just so sick that the wheels in my brain weren’t turning fast enough.]

There is no princess. Only a young prince and our main character Akane. Who according to Mr. H a man who came from the basement is a goddess. They never say what makes her a goddess besides the fact that her hand fit inside the print on another. Which later on in the movie makes total sense. Akane is normal. Her personality boarders on boring and dull. She has no spine. No courage. She’s a follower.  She walks that fine line of being a disrespectful daughter. She is in fact everything a teenager normally is. I write all this not to bash her character but to make a point. 

kane is as average as 90% of the human race is. Yet, she is told that she is a goddess in the other world. I’m guessing that she was to be an example that no matter how average or boring or cowardly you feel you are. Your voice or your presence can be strength for someone else. This idea is steadily enforced by the cast built around her. Mr. H, Pippo, and Chii have to practically drag her across the other world and continually push her to try new things. To overcome her fears and to live in the moment.

The prince is rebellious. He hates the role he was born into and job that only he can do. The pressure of having a whole kingdom depending on him makes him mentally unravel. I’d like to touch on how he could be any young child in our society from any country. It was me, and it was probably you too. We of course didn’t have others lives on our shoulders but it sure as hell felt that way when we were told to do whatever a certain way and failed. The prince legit the equivalent of an identity crisis and a mental breakdown mashed together. 

Akane and the prince had the same issues but in different context. They both felt alone and it took for them to meet each other to understand what they were feeling was normal part of life. Akane took the courage she’d gathered because of the friends surrounding her and gave it to him. She held his hand just as hers was previously held until he had the courage to walk on his own. 

In the end Akane returns home a much different person. She comments about how she never really looked around her and appreciated everything for what it was. She laughed louder and her smile reached her eyes. She practically glowed from the inside out. 

Overall was The Wonderland was a heartwarming movie suitable for all ages. Would I watch it again? Probably not. Is that response because I cried like a baby at the end? Yes, definitely yes. 

With Love,