Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Review (9/10)
(By Colin Arseneault)

Based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tells the tale of an impoverished young boy who wins a golden ticket that grants him access to the mystical Wonka Candy Factory. This candy factory is owned by the strange, and often misunderstood, "chocolatier" Willy Wonka, who hasn't been seen by the outside world in years. Throughout the course of the film, Wonka leads Charlie and the four other ticket holders through his exciting and often mesmerizing world of candy.

In all these years, I've never read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and to be honest, I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I walked into the theatre. Sure, I saw the original Willy Wonka film back when I was a young'un, but this is Tim Burton. He's a real wild card if you ask me, and from the experiences I've had, you either win or you lose with a Burton film, there's no in between. This one is definitely a winner.

From start to finish, this was just a breathtaking film. Visually, it really didn't deviate much from the original film. In this version we see, more or less, the same chocolate waterfall, the same 3 course bubble gum machine and, the very memorable TV room. They were all there, and they all came with that signature Burton twist that we've all come to know and love. The fact that Burton throws a bunch of interesting camera shots into the mix only adds to the kooky atmosphere of the film, which really gives it a more unique style.

Performance wise, this film scores again. Everyone does a great job in their respective roles. Johnny Depp however is, in a word, fantastic. He takes the Willy Wonka we all know from the original and adds a little Depp zest to him. The result? A Willy Wonka that has more wit, more humour and more childish innocence than what we've seen before. Wonka's little quips were quite amusing. The humour, in that respect, carried over very well from the original and only gave more depth to Wonka's personality. I was also very impressed with the new Oompa Loompa musical numbers. The new songs reflected the ones we've heard in the original and have a bit of a cute modern twist to them, which is quite refreshing from all the corniness surrounding the older songs.

In the end, I came out of the theatre more than satisfied with this film. This is, hands down, one of the best films of the year. It has everything the original had and more. If you're a Burton fan, you'll love it. If you're a Depp fan, you'll love it. If you're a three year old kid, you'll love it. There's something in this for everyone.

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