Sunday, July 31, 2005

Film: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

One of the things that I enjoyed the most about Roald Dahl as I was growing up was the magic of the stories, and even if over time the details of each of the ones I have read has passed out of memory, I know I enjoyed reading each and everyone. Looking back at them now, while today you see many things that have a more "adult" layer to the humor or imagery, which gives them a much wider appeal, his books strike me looking back at them as purely for children, yet with an edge to the themes and tone at times that allows the reader to rise up to a more intense story, within the safety of the zaney and stupid surroundings that make everything seem okay after all. And as an adult looking back, the enjoyment comes not from some new hidden jokes, but from recapturing the magic of the story I found as I grew up.

The same can't be said about the films however, of all the adaptations the earlier "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factor" been perhaps the only one I do not dislike, but I don't really remember liking it either. So going into see Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was never going to be a comparison for me, since I didn't really care on that level if it was "better" or "worse".

There was a certain amount of distractions with the cinema been full of younglings and only the odd group of friends or couples around my age in the spare spaces we could find in and around them, seconding guessing if the kids we choose to sit near were going to behave or not. But once the film started, it seemed to settle down rather well considering what it could be.

Right from the start, I was drawn in, the narritive as far as I could tell was lifted right from the book near enough, and so even if I could not recite them back there was a familier ring to them that settled me in and for most of the film, I was consumed by the way the characters and the world they had been put into was displayed almost perfectly. There was the odd little slip where you could see something was clearly CGI, but much less then I would have expected to be honest. Though towards the end of the film, while there was nothing bad about it, I felt my engament slipping a little in a few parts, but when it did, I was soon drawn back in.

So all in all the film recaptured some images from my youth in a new and facinating form, Johnny Depp in particular showed off just how much of a flexible character he can be as an actor, and the Oompa Loompas were suprisingly well pulled off. It's certainly worth a trip out to see on the big screen.


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