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i always thought a veruca was a type of wart you got on the bottom of your foot - 1370°C

Jul. 30th, 2005

01:54 am - i always thought a veruca was a type of wart you got on the bottom of your foot

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was...weird.

overall, i'm not exactly sure how i feel about it. i liked it quite a lot, but there are bits that i didn't like and bits that i genuinely don't know how i feel about, which isn't usual for me.

in no particular order:

-Johnny Depp was wonderful. he played Willy Wonka more like an autistic genius than a smart and sly genius like Gene Wilder did. but it really fit. he was strange in a good and slightly mean way. his character *might* have been too close to Edward Scissorhands with decent verbal skills for some peoples' tastes. but again, it worked.

-the kids were almost all great. Agustus and his mother were perfect, as were Veruca and her dad. Mike Teavee was pretty good, but they replaced his neurotic mother (one of my favourite bits of the original) with a dad who just seemed clueless and unable to get his son. Charlie was good and Grampa Joe was brilliant, as were the other bed-ridden grandparents. the weak point was Violet. the attempt to make her character into more than just a girl with a lot of chewing gum resulted in her being bratty in nearly the same way Veruca is, but not as good, and her mum was totally unmemorable.

-flashbacks to Wonka's childhood, while superflous, were well done, lent his character a bit of depth, and also led to fun lines like "are you ok?" "yes, i'm just having a flashback" "does that happen often?" "more and more frequently...today." however, the fact that the weirdness with his dad had to be reconciled in the end at the expense of another, perfectly good, ending annoyed me.

-a flashback to the original opening of the Chocolate Factory was brilliant enough to warrant its own bulleted point and contained a lovely homage to Edward Scissorhands. When Wonka cut the ribbon in front of the new factory, the camera switched to a shot of him, arms outstretched, holding a *huge* pair of shears in one hand.

-i'm not sure how i feel about the songs, particularly the Oompa Loompa songs. for some of them, the lyrics were so hard to decipher that you couldn't really recognise there was a moral. the 2nd one sounded like it could have been included on an Oingo Boingo album (this is a good thing, imo). they seemed to get better as the film went on, with the last being quite good. some of them were self-consciousnessly bad, leading to lines like "that seemed awfully...rehearsed," and Charlie asking Wonka how the Oompa Loompas could have incorporated people's names into the songs if they didn't know what was going to happen ahead of time.

-there were no fizzy lifting drinks :(

-also no bit where Slugworth offers to bribe Charlie to gain the recipe for the everlasting gobstopper. to me, this was a big deal, as it didn't give one the sense that Charlie had an extra test to pass...he merely got the factory because he was the kid who hadn't screwed up *yet,* rather than someone who had proven himself truly worthy. and no message that screwing up a bit (stealing fizzy lifting drinks) was ok so long as one's heart is pure (not selling out to Slugworth).

-the end as it was. hrm. forced resolution with Wonka's father and Wonka realising family was an ok thing...in the context of the film, that worked ok, but there's that bit of me that just doesn't brook with changing a perfectly good ending into something sort of sappy.

-Wonka was darker than in the previous film, in line with the books. however, the Oompa Loompas were less scary than in either the books or the original film.

final rating withheld until i see it again.