Since I am horrible at getting around to reviews of all the movies I watch (which is really sad, considering how much I’ve slowed down with Netflix these days – more on that later), I try to at least talk about what I see in theaters. So how could I ignore the blissfully tripped out viewing from Saturday night – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?! I most certainly could not!
For starters, let me get this off my chest: THIS IS NOT A REMAKE! THIS IS NOT A REMAKE! THIS IS NOT A REMAKE! This movie is, in fact, based on a book upon which the 1971 classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was also based. You can easily compare them, but it is also quite possible to love them both. I don’t think I could really decide between the two of them, as I thoroughly enjoyed both Gene Wilder’s and Johnny Depp’s portrayals of Wonka in their own right.
Wait, I’ve already told you that I liked it, now where do I go with this review? The movie is bizarre – as dark and twisted as the first one was, this movie was creepy and trippy. Depp plays an awkward and rathered isolated Wonka consistent with the surreal worlds that Tim Burton so often creates. His Wonka is filled with a certain disdain for both children and their parents that is conflicted with his love of sweets. While Wilder’s Wonka was a realistic view of an improbable world, Burton and Depp create another fairy tale geared more towards adults than the usual Disney crowd.
The Oompa Loompa songs are brilliantly adapted by Danny Elfman (perhaps the greatest film score talent of our time) and performed by Deep Roy (you have to see it to believe it). I could barely contain my mixture of laughter and bewilderment each time “they” would take the stage. The entire film was a great ride from start to finish, and now I really need to read the books.
With each film he does, I am even more certain that Johnny Depp will go down as the greatest actor of our time. He has solidifed his ability to take on any role – whether it be serious and dramatic or bizarre and comedic – and “CatCF” continues that trend. But equally enjoyable in this film is the appearance of Freddie Highmore as a spot-on Charlie Bucket. He also recently played Peter with Depp in Finding Neverland, and looks to be on his way to a promising film career.
There’s more I could say, but I fear I have already given away too much. “Charlie” is a brilliantly executed film, and I highly recommend seeing it if you haven’t already.