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Chris High reviews the movie starring Johnny Depp - Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.


Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter,
Julia Winter, Noah Taylor, James Fox & Christopher Lee
Director: Tim Burton
Warner Brothers

Movie poster for the film 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Dep 2005


Charlie And The Chocolate Factory comes about as close to being the perfect family movie that there is ever going to be. Taken from the classic, timeless, moral filled book written by the much missed Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka offers five lucky children the chance to take a tour of his factory, by virtue of finding five golden tickets.


Given that Charlie Bucket and his family are so poor that he only gets one chocolate bar per year, on his birthday, then his chances are slim. But still he hopes and still he dreams. Which is what this film, and ultimately the book, are all about … hopes and dreams and wishes coming true, but not at the expense of all else.

Tim Burton has worked with Johnny Depp four times before now and on each occasion has created a hit. So making it five from five wasn't going to be that difficult to foresee. The surroundings are sumptuous, the costumes magnificent and the acting first class from everybody concerned. David Kelly (he of Mr O'Reilly fame in Fawlty Towers and also from Robin's Nest and Waking Ned) as Grandpa Joe is just a delight to watch in the understated role of guardian.

Depp steals the show as Wonka though, playing the part as both a reassuringly childish adult and as a frighteningly adultish child with each whimsical lift of his brow. Beware whenever he says "Little boy" or "Little girl" because you know what's bound to happen isn't going to be good.

As for the kids - Charlie accepted, who is played with such wide-eyed innocence by Freddie Highmore, it's doubtful that even a Wonka Wonda Wipple Waffle would melt in his hands - a more hideous collection have yet to be invented (with the exception of those that hang around street corners in all weathers after 7:30 at night) and each of them - Charlie included - gets their just deserts … pun very much intended.

There are even Oompah-Loompahs … well, one Oompah-Loompah multi-spawned by technology, to be exact … who sing and dance, but sing and dance as Dahl intended, with mischief and nasty glee at the unfortunate victim in question. This is a much closer representation of the novel all round than Gene Wilder's 1971 outing which strayed so far from the path on occasions, it became almost so lost in the woods of fantasy as to be unrecognisable. The book is unique and should not be tampered with. Burton hasn't … much.

As for the film from an audience point of view, in the words of Willy Wonka himself "And you, well, you're just lucky to be here".

Please, just go and see this film at the cinema and enjoy it to the maximum.

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