Alice takes on Time in new ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’

REVIEW | Ben McEachen

June 2016

“Time is a villain and a thief,” according to ship captain Alice (Mia Wasikowska). This independent woman dislikes time, particularly how it stole her father away through death. Curiously, Alice Through The Looking Glass soon has Alice taking on Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen). The 1800s heroine strives to alter the painful past of the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), who is dying of a broken heart.

There is plenty of time to think about what you think about time during underwhelming fantasy Alice Through The Looking Glass. The sequel to successful but tepid Alice in Wonderland (2010), Through The Looking Glass is more of the lacklustre same. Exquisite production design and major stars are again submerged under a lukewarm adventure that lacks life and passion.

Credit: The Walt Disney Studios

Credit: The Walt Disney Studios

The universe inhabited by Alice doesn’t mention God setting the boundaries of everything, including the direction everything is going. Not to be confused with a popular boy band, one direction is a rule of time that even renowned scientist and atheist Stephen Hawking noted. “If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?” mused Hawking in A Brief History of Time. Indeed.

But Alice taking on Time is a provocative bit of imagination. Maybe you share her antagonistic attitude to time’s unstoppable march. It’s definitely your mortal enemy. You’re simply enraged by that “time for every purpose under heaven” stuff sung by singing legends The Byrds (borrowed from the Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3:1-8).

The patient and sprawling perspective of the actual lords of time, God and Jesus, sounds nice but hard to grasp. “One day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day”. (2 Peter 3:8) Your outlook might be more like this sing-song lament by Dr Seuss: “How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon … My goodness how the time has flown.” Time seems only to exist to remind us how quickly it passes by and that we’re not getting it back.

Alice is so determined to defy Time and help the Mad Hatter, she steals the Chronosphere. This contraption is the core of Time’s power. Without it, Time will gradually cease. So will everything else. Time himself makes this abundantly clear to Alice. However, her desire to dictate to time is so strong she’s willing to risk the end of everything. Sounds absurd – but how often have we whinged or worried about time getting away? We can want to control time as Alice longs for, as more and more moments slip away.

Meanwhile, back in reality, the reason God and Jesus see time as they do is simple. “The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) With the promise of eternal salvation on the table, time exists to offer more opportunity to grab hold of it tightly.

Hardly something to squander or moan about, time is a gift not a threat.

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