Willy Wonka!

I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this afternoon, and it was a delight. I was really expecting a much darker movie that the one I got, but looking back at what a warm and fuzzy movie Big Fish was, in retrospect, I’m not really surprised. The movie is a very faithful adaptation of the Roald Dahl children’s classic – even the musical numbers have their lyrics taken straight out of the books. There’s a fairly minor addition to the story, but nothing that detracts from the feeling of the book. Johnny Depp plays Wonka as a glam-era-rockstar inspired (right down to the requisite androgyny) reclusive genius, and it really works. (Depp’s Finding Neverland co-star Freddie Highmore plays a quietly charming, unassuming Charlie Bucket.) There is one subtext that I don’t recall from the book, though – that Wonka had actually set up the “rotten” children to fail. Maybe it was less jaded eyes that read the book so many years ago, but the movie definitely gave the impression that Wonka knew full well who was going to win his special prize the moment the fifth Golden Ticket was found, something I don’t recall from the book. Still, anyone who enjoyed the book will certainly enjoy this movie. The Tim Burton-Johnny Depp combination strikes gold again.

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