Charlie And The Chocolate Factory movie, Tim Burtonâ€™s reimagining of Roald Dahlâ€™s much-loved childrenâ€™s book, features all of Burtonâ€™s cinematic stalwarts as well as some inventive confectionery scenes. Facing fierce competition from the highly revered 1971 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Burtonâ€™s take had a lot to live up to back in 2005.
When candymaker genius Wonka, mostly known for his delectable sweets, decides to hold a competition for five children to visit his chocolate factory, Charlie, a boy from an inflatedly impoverished background, sets his heart on winning one of the precious golden tickets. Desperate after finding no such ticket hidden in the wrapper of his chocolate bar, his luck changed when he has the chance to buy another. In Burtonâ€™s retelling we are given Wonkaâ€™s back story, a history that never appeared in the book, explaining his transformation from outgoing confectionery king to distrustful agoraphobic.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory full movieÂ is a delicious work of art â€“ and thatâ€™s not just because of the gallons of liquid chocolate that flood the film. Burton-esque throughout, the sets ooze with cooky brilliance whilst Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore)â€™s ramshackle family home (inhabited by a host of wonderful grandparents, namely Liz Smith) is fitting. Adding in some of Dahlâ€™s Great Glass Elevator tale, the picture comes full circle when Charlie is made an offer he canâ€™t turn downâ€¦ or can he?
Johnny Depp, a man renowned for his acting dexterity (few other actors could nail playing the Mad Hatter and Jack Sparrow in the same career), uses his resourceful nature to great effect as the captivating Wonka. Both wacky and reserved, Deppâ€™s Wonka holds the movie together. Although the character himself is rather fragile and haunted by his troubled relationship with his father (here played masterfully by Christopher Lee), the childrenâ€™s fascination with him (or lack thereof) helps carry Wonkaâ€™s mysterious magic.
Helena Bonham Carter, clearly, co-stars whilst the four obnoxious kids who share Charlieâ€™s experiences are played so well that youâ€™re perfectly pleased when each one faces their demise. Highmoreâ€™s Charlie is likeable but Deep Royâ€™s role, impressively appearing as every single Oompa-Loompa in the film, steals most of his limelight.
Bringing life into Dahlâ€™s greatly imaginative work,Â Charlie And The Chocolate Factory 2005 movie maintains much of its novelâ€™s aspect. The Danny Elfman-voiced Oompa-Loompa ditties can be found in the original story whilst most of the visual treats seem to spring straight from Dahlâ€™s page.
Any movie that uses 927,403 litres of (albeit fake) chocolate was always going to be good in our novels and, knowing that some of the set was real sweet, itâ€™s hard not to love the fantastical ride provided by Burton and co.
I humbly admit that I am THE viewer for Tim Burtonâ€™sÂ Charlie And The Chocolate Factory movie: Never read the novel (even though I like other Roald Dahl books such asÂ James and the Giant PeachÂ andÂ The BFG) and never succeeded in sitting through the entire 1971 Gene Wilder version (oh, as a parent, I tried, God knows I triedâ€”too garishly tedious, too galumphingly long; cheesy before â€œcheesyâ€ was cool).
Furthermore, I figured Burton would be an ideal Dahl director. In the past, heâ€™s been unsentimental in his approach to both fantasy and children (fromÂ Edward ScissorhandsÂ to the very slightly underratedÂ Big Fish). InÂ Pee-weeâ€™s Big Adventure, Burton proved he knows how to build the enchanting colorful world that Willy Wonkaâ€™s chocolate factory needs, and in his originalÂ Batman, he presented the grim dankness that characterizes little Charlie Bucketâ€™s rickety, sagging house. And when I saw the first raft of publicity shots of Burtonâ€™s partner-in-eccentricity, Johnny Depp, as a Willy with chalky skin, a lipsticky grin, a squat top hat, and hair covering his ears (those last two items left over from Deppâ€™s marvelousÂ Dead Man, perhaps?), I sensed a goofy greatness.
Turns out, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory full movieÂ is half wacky-great, and half just a wack. Burton is, as always, a brilliant creator of atmosphere: When you see the listing hovel inhabited by the Bucket family, you can almost hear the groan of the collapsing ceiling and feel the greasy slickness of the bedsâ€™ dirty sheets.
When Charlie unwraps a Wonka chocolate bar, Burton makes the outer paper wrapper crackle and its tin-foil lining crinkle palpably; when anyone bites into the sweet food, you can feel the collapse of the dusky cocoa confection between your own teeth. And while you and the kiddies surrender to this Candyland board game come to life, youâ€™ll also chuckle at the zippy little homages to everything from Busby Berkeley musicals toÂ Psycho.
As the star whoâ€™s appeared in the center of almost every shot heâ€™s in, Depp is a constantly unexpected Willy Wonka. I peeked at some advance stories that suggested the actor is doing a wise satire on Michael Jacksonâ€”the pale skin; the wispy voice; the leading of children via the Neverland-like atmosphere of the Day-Glo candy factory; the primal fear of an abusive daddy (in this case, Brit horror-film legend Christopher Lee). But that just doesnâ€™t track; Depp is more original in his creation here than he was as a brazenly swashbuckling Keith Richards inÂ Pirates of the Caribbean.
Unlike the King of Pop, Deppâ€™s loopy lord of lollipops is fully an adult, a crafty autodidact whoâ€™s caught in a paradox: He recoils from the slightest touch of the children who most appreciate his sugary creations. Depp speaks nothing similar to Jackson; he invents a new kind of hipster dippiness, dripping sarcasm while chattering breathlessly through the open mouth of a rictus smile, telling the children that theyâ€™re â€œkind of starting to bum me outâ€ unless they â€œkeep on trucking â€ with his long-striding tour of the chocolate factory.
If Iâ€™ve stinted on synopsis, itâ€™s because I donâ€™t know anyone besides me who isnâ€™t familiar with the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory story, so Iâ€™ll just move on to the chief flaw: a rubbery narrative pace, which goes slack whenever Burtonâ€™s longtime orchestrator Danny Elfman halts the proceedings to have the happy slave-workers the Oompa-Loompas singsong semi-clever pastiches of the Beach Boys or the Beatles or Queen. (The yammering of much of this music reminded me why I never liked Elfmanâ€™s pre-movie career: leader of the fussy L.A. pop-punk band Oingo Boingo.)
I also wanted more of Charlie, played by Freddie Highmore with the same winning pluck that made last yearâ€™sÂ Finding Neverlandbearableâ€”he gets lost in much of the spectacle. But overall, I admire Burton and Deppâ€™s success at turning childrenâ€™s nightmares (the Dahl-derived critique of kids as creatures who eat too much and bloat or explode) inward, getting at something lacking in Wonkaâ€™s humanity.
A damaged child grown into a man who maintains elaborate control of his surroundings, this Willy is less Michael Jacksonâ€“creepy than a chipper capitalist, for whom profits equal comfort, which equals creative freedom. Not that dissimilar, really, from the way Burton and Depp have managed to arrange their creative lives to work among the corporate Oompa-Loompas of Hollywood.
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