‘Alice’s Misfortunes In Underland & Through The Looking Glass’: This Tale Is As Urban-esque As It Can Get!

Every story has to have a happy ending, right? In the end, when the curtain falls, you want the poetic justice meted out. You want the lovers to meet and the underdog to emerge the hero. But, not all stories are meant to have that destiny.  ‘Alice’s misfortunes in underland and through the looking glass’ is one such film.

It starts off with an eerie sense of premonition, warning the audience to be prepared for the uncertain, for the clipping of the innocent wings. And it delivers them almost immediately. As the reality of the contemporary world is slowly brought forward; the misery of the poor maidens, their lives subjected to the crude power of money that turns even their groans of pain into supposed moans of pleasure is discomforting, to say the least.

Alice’s Misfortunes In Underland & Through The Looking Glass - Short Film Review - Indie Shorts Mag

Alice, a lonely homeless girl on the streets of Soho, scavenging trash bags for food, speaks of a mind-numbing pain. She yearns for “a change away from this despair and into something extraordinary”. Grace Link, who plays Alice, is impressive in her characterization of the lonely and already broken being. As Alice is found and pitied by the White Rabbit (Faye Bennett), who assures her of a better life; in goes Alice into the Underworld; a world of no-return.  She encounters the unforgettable Queen of Hearts (Emma Ralston), whose admission of her seals her fate.

The editing is neat, maintaining the pace steady, albeit slow. The abrupt cutting of the scenes adding the necessary layer of uncertainty to sync with the screenplay, makes the film engaging. The writer, Nikki S Colt, who also plays the Mad Hatter, focuses on the details of a “golden cage” very well.

Alice’s Misfortunes In Underland & Through The Looking Glass - Short Film Review - Indie Shorts Mag

Trapped in the comfort and luxury of the Underland, Alice bitterly realizes that in this world there are no free lunches. Entrapped and helpless, just as Alice and the audience alike start to lose their hope, the film takes a sudden turn and we see Alice enter into her redemption, “through the looking glass”, where she finds a loving and caring White Knight (played by co-director Joseph Dewey).

Alice’s short-lived misfortunes and happinesses confound the viewers, the achingly slow narrative stretches the imagination of the audience forcing them into considering all the possibilities of outcome for the characters. Well supported by convincing performances by all actors involved and brilliant background score (Camila Fawape) to support the storyline, the film at 26:01 minutes manages to wring the heart out with immense believability. ‘Alice’s misfortunes in the underland and through the looking glass’ is a one-of-a-kind film that is both; tragic and evocative at the same time, compelling its audience to take the same plunge as its lead.

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‘Alice’s Misfortunes In Underland & Through The Looking Glass’: This Tale Is As Urban-esque As It Can Get!
3.2 / 5 Stars

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1 Comment
  1. Cinema Fan says

    I watched until the 13-minute mark and gave up. It was an attempt as an offspring of Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. The narration was boring so I may have lost bits of information that pertains to the story but all I followed was she kept ending up somewhere else. There wasn’t any information about the character being revealed. The main character and the audience know very little of these 3 strange characters that abducted her by the midpoint of the movie where I stopped. Maybe they reveal themselves and their motives right after I stopped watching but I became disinterested and no longer invested.

    The cinematography was nice but the editing and color-grading by design through me for a loop. Some shots were needlessly long. The color grading made the film look cartoonish. Maybe it was meant to be. I don’t know. It’s subjective and I do not discourage anyone from watching this short film.

    The score is a highlight but there are parts where I feel that less is more. The music was overly dramatic and nothing worthy of it is going on at times.

    If I was a director and/or producer of this film, I’ll contract it down to 15 to 20 minutes and re-record the narration with personality and narration should be more soliloquy than color commentary.

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