Saturday, November 3, 2007

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Fantasy, USA, 2005; D: Tim Burton, S: Freddie Highmore, Johnny Depp, David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor, Missi Pyle, Christopher Lee, Julia Winter

Charlie is a poor boy with a good heart who lives in an old cottage with his unemployed parents, two grandpas and two grandmas. In the big town, the eccentric Willy Wonka runs a chocolate factory and organizes a touring of his factory for five children who are lucky enough to find his golden card in a candy bar. By pure luck, the winners are Mike, Violet, Veruca, Augustus and Charlie, but once the bizarre tour is over, only Charlie proves to have a kind heart and Willy lets him inherit his factory.

The remake of the cult movie "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" from '71, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is a fantasy film with a similar iconography that was evaluated as a proportionally rather successful achievement with unpretentious and unobtrusive messages about the importance of a kind soul, but which suffers from larpurlartism and senseless details. The story unravels at best in the first third (amusing scenes in which Japanese, Egyptian and many other children are frantically buying Wonka's chocolate bars in order to find the golden ticket in them) but it starts falling apart in the sequence of the touring of the bizarre chocolate factory - it was essential to carefully handle the extravagant events, but Tim Burton wasn't capable to do so, thus uncontrollably imposing his aggressive, albeit interesting wild dark style, and therefore leaving the viewers to either like it or not. At moments he seems to be completely lost his mind with chaotic sequences (girl Violet chews the magic bubble gum too long causing her skin to become purple-violet and her body to inflate like a giant balloon; the violent Mike falls into the magic TV set and then flip-flops in a banal way between such movies like "Psycho" or "A Space Odyssey"...) that are just there to taunt the children, and not even the very good Johnny Depp, nominated for a Golden Globe as the eccentric, androgynous Willy Wonka, can improve the shaky, silly film as a whole.


No comments: