Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
July 12th 2005
Our entertainment correspondent
saw Charlie and the Chocolate factory at the premier. Here is
When I first saw that Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory was rated PG for "quirky situations," my mind
desperately sought to find the answer how such a thing could
possibly need parental guidance. From the moment a singing and
dancing doll erupted into flames, I found my answer. Unlike Mel
Stuart's version of Roald Dahl's beloved classic, Tim Burton doesn't
make any attempt to, forgive the pun, "sugar coat"
the rather twisted scenes depicted in Dahl's own words. From the
graphically detailed post-gum transformation of Violet to Veruca
Salt being dragged away by a mob of irate squirrels, we are treated
to top-notch effects and the most frightening "quirk" Burton can
Take the ten year old, but leave the five year old at home to watch
the happy-go-lucky 1971 version. Oh, but do take Grandma Josephine
and Grandpa Jo.
Perhaps one of the strangest "quirks" in this film is
Johnny Depp's depiction of Willy Wonka. Nothing could possibly stray farther
from Gene Wilder's take on the unusual and reclusive candy maker. Wilder
makes the man sugary, sappy, and nearing his expiration date. Depp's Wonka,
though visually different from descriptions in the book, is much more like
him in the most vital way: nutty, dark, and fresh. At his first appearance
it seems rather shocking and a little awkward, but it takes only minutes to
warm up to and even love this brilliantly crafted character.
The plot of the film is well crafted as well, with Burton carefully
translating Dahl's work while adding his own twisted details; mainly a
strange back-story to Wonka. All important details are kept, including the
vital resolution to the children's fate which satisfies our cravings and
curiosities about the little brats. Stuart's version leaves us with a bad
after taste, wanting just one little morsel more and leaves us feeling
completely unsatisfied. It's this faithful translation that makes it all at
once more believable and more fanciful. We are taken out of our world and
placed in a world with relatable, yet very arch-type characters, theatrical,
yet welcoming mise-en-scene, and silly, yet enjoyable music that doesn't
take itself too seriously.
The creation of this movie is the world's Golden Ticket. Depp, Burton, and
the musical genius of Danny Elfman come together for the third time, this
time creating a whimsical world of candy, imagination, and emotion. The
characters, imagery, and fantastically imaginative and addictive music is
something you won't soon forget.
Take Burton up on this offer and take a step inside Wonka's factory.
Johnny Depp Movies
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