ReviewWriter: Nurliana Kamaruddin
Writer Ratings:Overall: Cast:
NAWatch this if you liked:
I really think the people who will hate this movie are those who actually LOVED that atrocious sampling of that 1971 movie they called an adaptation of the classic story that Roald Dahl has given us. Not liking the first one, I was prepared to be bitterly disappointed by this one too. Imagine how delighted I was to be taken for a ride in Tim Burton's Technicolor wonderland and his vision of this amazing story of a boy and his adventure in the world's most marvellous chocolate factory.
Yes, I know people say you should not compare the two movies, that "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory" and Tim Burton's "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory" are two different entities and should be treated as such, but come on, at the end of the day can you honestly say that you won't compare the two? I did, and I say this one wins hands down. Oh, it's far from perfect, but that does not mean it's not a good movie. Fans of the book will be overjoyed to know that the movie remained relatively loyal to the book.
For the uninformed, this movie tells the tale of little Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore), a normal little boy who lives in a run-down house with his parents and grandparents, and Willy Wonka, the greatest chocolatier in the world. Having lived a reclusive life in his gigantic factory for so many years, Willy suddenly decides to open his factory door to five lucky children one day and sends out the message that five golden tickets are hidden in five ordinary Wonka chocolate bars. When Charlie finds one of the much sought-after tickets, he becomes one of the lucky five to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime.
The chocolate factory, the backbone to the movie, is spectacular. It is a visual fest that will enchant you and make your tummy rumble, as everything from the candies growing on trees to the chocolate waterfall is a treat to behold. Although we can't possibly know EXACTLY how Dahl might have imagined the chocolate factory to be, Tim Burton's visual interpretation of it is astounding. The bright splashes of colour, the whizzing, popping gadgets, the swirling sloshing chocolate river and waterfall... It's a children's wonderland brought to life in extraordinary minute details.
Dahl once said, to make a character memorable, you need to exaggerate their characteristics, and the characters in this movie have certainly been exaggerated. Spoiled Veruca Salt, pudgy Augustus Gloop, arrogant Violet Beauregarde and smug Mike Teavee are exactly the type of children that you would love to hate. Made up of a relatively unknown cast, these children played their evil roles with relish. By the end of the movie, I wanted to congratulate each and every one of them personally for a job well done.
Still, you cannot deny that the screen stealers were Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka, played by Freddie Highmore and Johnny Depp respectively. The good rapport that they had with each other in "Finding Neverland" is readily apparent here. Highmore simply nailed the earnest and simple Charlie. Depp's interpretation of Willy Wonka might be a bit over-the-top to some but he is hilarious to watch and there's this little bit of quirkiness that only Johnny Depp can bring to a character, a quirkiness that kind of makes you worry Wonka might completely unhinge and go full-blown psycho.
At the end of the day, "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory" is a delightful look at one of the world's most memorable and beloved children's stories. Like any Tim Burton movies, there's a hint of depressive darkness in the movie, but an underlying optimism that will make you fall in love with it. Cinema Online, 23 September 2008