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An American law student in London. Knocked down by a black cab, she wakes with amnesia in a world that's a million miles from home - Wonderland. We follow her adventures as she's dragged through an underworld filled with twisted individuals and the lowest low-lifers, by the enigmatic cab driver, Whitey. She needs to find out who she is, where she's from and use what wits she has left to get back home in one piece. As her journey progresses she discovers nothing is what it seems, realizes that fate and life are terminally entwined, and finds true love lurking in the unlikeliest place. Written by
Viewed at the Marche du Film, Festival de Cannes 2009
With not a lot of money but a bundle of ideas, director Simon Fellows and writer Jayson Rothwell, have come up with a massively entertaining twist on the classic tale, Alice in Wonderland. Only this time it's a young woman with amnesia, a taxi-driver, assorted gangsters, druggies and weirdos who feature.
At the same time, Malice in Wonderland stays true to the novel on which its based, proving that old ideas can still be the best; same story, new version, as it were.
Maggie Grace makes an interesting Alice, here a young American on the run from (and also towards) something, if only she knew what. Some of the dialogue between her and Whitey, the taxi driver, is excellent. Scratch that! A lot of the dialogue is excellent, with some great lines to cut out and keep for future use.
It's clear that a low budget has been made to go a long way, but view it as a lot of bang for low bucks and not as cloth being cut too thinly. What surprises about this film is just how assured it is.
Quibbles? Nothing of note, really. It would, theoretically, be nice to have seen what would have resulted had the production budget been higher, but then the film would perhaps have lost some, if not all, of its edge.
As a calling card, Malice in Wonderland shows some real talent at work. The basic question, is it worth paying to see? Absolutely!
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