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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
July 12th 2005

Johnny Depp

Our entertainment correspondent saw Charlie and the Chocolate factory at the premier.  Here is her review.

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 produce.

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.

Grade A-

 


By Stephanie Wilson
Freelance Writer

Johnny Depp Movies
 

Keywords and misspellings: Dep Jonny Johny Chocolate factory Willie Wanka Willy Wancka


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