9 June 2014

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2005
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Based on the story by Roald Dahl
  • Cast: Johnny Depp,  Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Helena Bonham-Carter, Noah Taylor, Deep Roy, James Fox, Christopher Lee, Adam Godley, Eileen Essell
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Johnny Depp  Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Slow Burn, Cry-Baby, Edward Scissorhands, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Arizona Dream, Benny and Joon, Ed Wood, Don Juan DeMarco, Dead Man, Nick of Time, Donnie Brasco, The Brave, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Astronaut’s Wife, Sleepy Hollow, The Man Who Cried, Chocolat, Blow, From Hell, Lost in La Mancha, Pirates of the Caribbean (all four of them), Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Secret Window, Finding Neverland, Libertine, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Public Enemies, Alice in Wonderland, The Tourist
    • Freddie Highmore – Finding Neverland, Toast, A Good Year
    • David Kelly – Stardust, Waking Ned Devine, The Comedy of Errors, Fawlty Towers, The Girl with the Green Eyes
    • Helena Bonham-Carter   Les Misérables, Great Expectations, Life’s Too Short, Harry Potter, Toast, The King’s Speech, Alice in Wonderland, Absolutely Fabulous, Enid, Terminator Salvation, Sweeney Todd, Corpse Bride, Conversations with Other Women, Big Fish, Planet of the Apes, Fight Club, Keep the Aspidistras Flying, Twelfth Night, Frankenstein, Howards End, Hamlet, A Room with a View
    • Noah Taylor – Almost Famous, Shine
    • Deep Roy – Big Fish, Planet of the Apes, Return of the Jedi
    • James Fox – Merlin, Sherlock Holmes, The Remains of the Day, Absolute Beginners, Isadora
    • Christopher Lee -  Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Hugo, Sleepy Hollow
    • Adam Godley – Merlin, Elizabeth the Golden Age, Nanny McPhee, Love Actually
    • Eileen Essell – Hustle, Finding Neverland
  • Why? JD. 30th in JD marathon
  • Seen:  Once before. Now: June 5, 2014
Another chocolate film. I still don’t much like chocolate and this isn’t nearly as sweet as Chocolat. Like other Depp-Burton collaborations it has a fairy tale feel to it with an elderly grandparent telling a story. And with snow à la Edward Scissorhands with which it also shares a plastic pastel everything-just-a-bit-off feel.
The fun fair circus Wonderland elements shift early and often into a nightmare LSD trip. JD is a Michael Jackson and Dolores Umbridge type of pathetic and ridiculous sadist (not that Jackson was a sadist that I know of).  Willy Wonka even reminds me oddly enough a bit of Olivia in Fringe (don’t ask me to explain). Once in a while JD himself shows through and he’s the only one who holds the film together really.  Without him it wouldn´t be much.
Poor Willy Wonka. What a sad life he’s had.   The children are despicable as are the adults. Except for Charlie and his family who are Very Nice.
Tim Burton lets his inner child run wild. As we know children, like the ones in this film, can be dreadful (but it’s not their fault, it’s the parents’...)
The funniest scene – a big bar of chocolate rising like the 2001 Space Odyssey monolith to the Strauss “Also Sprach Zarathustra” music.
Otherwise, sadly, it’s very silly and a bit boring. The song and dance routines are quite lame and the happy-family-means-everything is feeble. But it is fun in its way and JD rises to the occasion and plays the mad chocolate manufacturer with nuanced sensitivity. And big teeth.  They all seem to be enjoying their roles and Burton undoubtedly had fun with it.  Both JD and Burton have done much better but it’s definitely seeable.

2 ½ * of 5

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