150 years of Wonderland: A book and movie inspired by Carroll

  • Sarit Ray, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jul 10, 2015 09:58 IST
Lewis Carroll penned his book Alice in Wonderland 150 years ago and the classic still inspires us in many ways.

"You used to be much more…muchier. You’ve lost your muchness,” wrote Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, or Lewis Carroll, as know him, 150 years ago (on July 4, 1862, he first shared the story).

Ever since, we’ve been amazed by the magical Wonderland that Alice tumbles into, down the rabbit hole. Over the years, it has been read with equal fervour by children and adults, and has inspired several adaptations and tributes.

We pick a book and a movie that reflect the spirit of Carroll, and of the strange, fantastic, ‘muchier’ worlds that you can travel to in your mind.


Looking Glass Girl

by Cathy Cassidy

British young-adult fiction writer Cassidy was actually approached to write the book to commemorate 150 years of Alice in Wonderland. She took a refreshingly different approach. In Looking Glass Girl, 13-year-old Alice Beech is a head trauma patient whose subconscious flits between memory, the magical Wonderland, and distant snatches of reality – “Can you hear me, Alice? My name is Martin; I’m a paramedic,” she can hear, but not respond to, right after the accident. Like Carroll’s Alice, she’s a misfit, the odd one out, a teenager dealing with internal conflicts and growing-up issues.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
directed by Terry Gilliam

Did you think The Dark Knight was Heath Ledger’s last film? Well, it wasn’t. He was halfway through Gilliam’s absurd story of a travelling circus whose ancient leader apparently a thousand years old) takes audience members through a magic mirror where they must make the choice between good and evil.

As Tony Shepherd (Ledger’s character) finds out, it’s no circus trick, with the mirror serving as a Carroll-esque tunnel to Wonderland, comprising video games, and ladders reaching into the clouds. Ledger never finished the film, so Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Collin Farrell stepped in. How? Every time Shepherd goes inside the mirror, he has a different face.

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