innocent_man: (lsd)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory is a movie based on the novel by Roald Dahl, and not, as some folks seem to think, a remake of the 1971 movie starring Gene Wilder. This one stars Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, which means it must also have Helena Bonham Carter (yep, as Mrs. Bucket) and Christopher Lee (yep, as Unnecessary Daddy Issues). Oh, and Tim Burton directing.

I actually really like this movie. I think the modern imaginings of Veruca, Violet and Mike are perfect, and I think that Deep Roy did a fantastic job as every Oompa Loompa ever. Really, everyone in this movie is perfect except for Depp and Lee, and I can't blame Lee.

See, in the book, Wonka doesn't have a past. He's presented as this funny, eccentric but very kind old man. He is unfailingly polite to everyone in the factory (I mean, he tells a parent to go soak her head, but she totally deserves it), and he loves the factory and he likes kids. In the 1971 version, he's close to the book version but then he does the freakout at the end and there's the test with the gobstoppers and blah. In this one, he's this weird mishmash of Howard Hughes and Michael Jackson, he doesn't care about anyone else, he hates families and parents, and his dad was a dentist who refused to give him candy.

And OMG, I forgot how clumsy the flashbacks were, especially if you know the book. It really reads like Burton inserting his own issues throughout the movie, and it's completely unnecessary. And it wouldn't be so bad if the rest of the movie weren't do so skillfully.

It took a while to get this made because they had to wait for Dahl to die; he was so unhappy with the 1971 film. I have no idea how he'd feel about this one. I like it, but I kind of want to fast-forward through everything Burton added.

My grade: B+
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: Either Elf or Fletch


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