of candy-coated horror…

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Gateway Mall Premiere – SPOILERS ALERT

I haven’t read Roald Dahl’s classic novel nor have seen the first movie, which I believe was titled Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, so this little review of Tim Burton’s film is from someone who meets Willy, Charlie, all the other whimsical characters, and the enchanting (or is it?) chocolate factory for the first time. Really.

I found most of the movie too dark, grim and disturbing for very young audiences. Not only was I repulsed by Johnny Depp’s Michael-Jackson visage and color (or less of), I was also disturbed by the menacing faces and haunting chantings of the Oompa Loompa crew and the individual fate of those four other hard-headed-you-want-to-punch-them-on-the-face “golden ticket” kids. I mean, okay fine, those kids deserve some punishment for being nosey, arrogant, gluttonous, and too-much-know-it-all. But hey, getting sucked up in a tube, turned into a blueberry that’s more like a hot-air balloon, thrown in a ditch of factory garbage, and shrunk to a size beyond the senses are just too much for me to handle. I got scared. Literally. And during these times, I actually whispered to my seatmate (well, a colleague) that “I. am. scared” or “This.is.disturbing.” Such a shame for a 23-year-old guy to say, eh, while the kids in the same theater were actually laughing at those scenes? Oh, well…

I am relieved though by the redeeming element in the film, Charlie and his good-natured heart and love for family, something which Willy did not have (or did not think he had) when he was a growing boy. It was Charlie’s gentle inquisitiveness and innocence that made him win the prize at the end of the tour. And his golden heart that made him a winner in the longer run.

Rating: 4 out of 5 candy bars.


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