Stephen Speicher

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Rate this movie   25 votes

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53 posts in this topic

I don't want to give any spoilers away just yet-but I would like to prompt interest!

Let me just say that this movie is amazing. Not only is the music great (Danny Elfman), the scenery great (I just can't get over the Chocolate River Room), the directing great (Tim Burton), and the acting great (Johnny Depp, once again, did a fantastic job)-but the morality is great.

I find this movie extremely moral-and moral in the right way! Thanks to the benevolence of the film (it is not as dark as I thought it would be), the good guy wins in the end and all the bad guys fail. The journey through the Chocolate Factory is a journey through morality, each individual facing up to moral challenges.

The only other thing I can't get over is Johnny Depp's acting ability; he better win an Oscar for this :).

This is the only movie I have been to where the entire audience stood up and clapped/cheered. I did too :).

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I agree, it's a great movie. Beautiful visuals, great music, and a lot of good morality. Willy Wonka stands up for free enterprise, profit, and creative productivity.

The only thing I didn't like was the stuff they added about Wonka's childhood, and the way they changed the ending to give it a "what's good for your family is more important than what's good for you" message.

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I agree, it's a great  movie.  Beautiful visuals, great music, and a lot of good morality.  Willy Wonka stands up for free enterprise, profit, and creative productivity.

I agree! I love how the movie was centered around a beautiful factory-that it was seen as greater than a Castle! A self-made man in every sense, Willy Wonka is a top-notch Capitalist.

The only thing I didn't like was the stuff they added about Wonka's childhood, and the way they changed the ending to give it a "what's good for your family is more important than what's good for you" message.

I think that is one of the best parts of the movie (and I'll show you that in the sense of the movie, what is good for you is good for your family!

-----SPOILERS-----

Willy Wonka seemed like the perfect guy-he was happy, intelligent, self-made, productive, etc. There was one thing missing however...one important element that did not make him complete. The greatest virtue of Charlie was his love for his family, which is indeed a great value!

Charlie did in fact choose what was better for him-his family over anything material. I find that highly admirable. It is a beautiful lesson that Wonka hadn't learned-and it was Charlie who taught it to him.

Remember the scene with the "umpa-psychologist"? Willy Wonka's ideas had frozen, and thus his productivity (mind tied to productivity? great element :) ) had faltered. He said that he was miserable, and he didn't know why.

It was the reunion with his father that "completed" Wonka. After he had been "completed", Willy Wonka's ideas began to flow again...with the aid of Charlie, who in the end got his family and the factory.

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Spoilers here too!

This is hard to talk about, because it's not so much what happened that I find objectionable, but how it was portrayed. I mean, sure, I'd choose my family over a factory any day, and I definitely think it's a good idea to make an effort to reconnect with your father if you've become estranged from him. But in the movie, it really seemed as though you HAVE to have a family to be happy, and all other considerations are secondary to caring for them.

In the flashbacks, it showed what a horrible man Wonka's father was. If you had a father like that, would you want him in your life? Wouldn't you be happier if you simply ignored him?

And when Charlie makes his decision to stay with his family, you can see just how unhappy he is. Being given the factory would have made him the happiest boy in the world, and I don't think he was too happy with his current life. I suppose I'm kind of biased because I read the book so many times as a child, but in that it spends a lot of time describing just how poor his family becomes, and how all of them are in the process of starving to death.

Now, he did seem happy with his family- but it kinda seemed like they made him happy just BECAUSE they were his family. At any rate, which do you think would be better- starving to death with your family, or living your dream without them?

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----------More Spoilers------------

In the flashbacks, it showed what a horrible man Wonka's father was.  If you had a father like that, would you want him in your life?  Wouldn't you be happier if you simply ignored him?

I never really saw his father as a horrible man. He never beat Willy Wonka. His only fault was trying to protect him from bad teeth by forbidding him to eat candy. A bad father would not have saved that giant collection of clippings tracking the progress of his son. I think he was a good father who was trying to protect his son, like Charlie said.

And when Charlie makes his decision to stay with his family, you can see just how unhappy he is.  Being given the factory would have made him the happiest boy in the world, and I don't think he was too happy with his current life.  I suppose I'm kind of biased because I read the book so many times as a child, but in that it spends a lot of time describing just how poor his family becomes, and how all of them are in the process of starving to death.

It probably has to do with how many times you read the book because I did not get this impression at all. The entire movie to me, from beginning to end, was a testament to the love Charlie had for his family. I think that he was, of course, disappointed. But Charlie was mature enough to recognize which was the greater value and go for it.

Now, he did seem happy with his family- but it kinda seemed like they made him happy just BECAUSE they were his family.  At any rate, which do you think would be better- starving to death with your family, or living your dream without them?

I think that Charlie did indeed want to own the factory. However, he refused to give up: a loving father (Remember how his father brought the toothpaste caps home? Throughout the movie I saw a kind and loving father); a loving mother (remember how they gave him the birthday gift? And they joy she shared with him when he won?); and very loving grandparents.

I think the end of the movie is indeed a great value-conflict. Charlie knew that he could not live a happy life without his family, and so he chose his family as the greater value-even if he was to starve for it. I praise this choice; it is so rare today that you see a movie from Hollywood that stresses the value of family.

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The only other thing I can't get over is Johnny Depp's acting ability; he better win an Oscar for this :).

This is the only movie I have been to where the entire audience stood up and clapped/cheered. I did too :).

This was my favorite film of the summer!

I can't add anything to what JRoberts said! :)

Like he said, part of what made the whole experience terrific were the jolly laughs out loud by the audience and the applause at the end.

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----------More Spoilers------------

I think the end of the movie is indeed a great value-conflict.  Charlie knew that he could not live a happy life without his family, and so he chose his family as the greater value-even if he was to starve for it.  I praise this choice; it is so rare today that you see a movie from Hollywood that stresses the value of family.

You might be right about this. I think I'll have to go see it again and decide whether Charlie actually wanted to stay with his family, or if he was just doing it out of a sense of duty.

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You might be right about this.  I think I'll have to go see it again and decide whether Charlie actually wanted to stay with his family, or if he was just doing it out of a sense of duty.

And actually, the more I read and think about what you said, it brings up a question.

Does the book make family a sense of duty? Does the book portray his father as overly evil? I haven't read the book in...9 or 10 years (When I was very little), and don't remember much.

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And actually, the more I read and think about what you said, it brings up a question.

Does the book make family a sense of duty? Does the book portray his father as overly evil? I haven't read the book in...9 or 10 years (When I was very little), and don't remember much.

Wonka's father is never even mentioned in the book! They completely made that up for the movie. Also, Wonka was very happy to let Charlie's family live with him at the factory- It was a much simpler ending.

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----------SPOILERS---------

Now I don't know if I'm making this up-or if it is from the original movie (it has been so long since I saw it).

But doesn't Charlie and his grandfather get in trouble too in the bubble room? Is that only in the other movie-or is it in the book too?

If so-why do you think Tim Burton dropped this obviously big part?

I remember from the original movie that every child signed a contract (not in the new movie), and that Charlie's actions in the bubble room broke the contract.

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----------SPOILERS---------

Now I don't know if I'm making this up-or if it is from the original movie (it has been so long since I saw it).

But doesn't Charlie and his grandfather get in trouble too in the bubble room? Is that only in the other movie-or is it in the book too?

If so-why do you think Tim Burton dropped this obviously big part?

I remember from the original movie that every child signed a contract (not in the new movie), and that Charlie's actions in the bubble room broke the contract.

That was only in the original movie, not in the book. I'm guessing that he left it out partly to avoid making this movie too much like the original, partly to stay truer to the book, and partly because he doesn't want Charlie to be a kid who'd break the rules like that.

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I have just returned from my second viewing of the film; and this time, I love it even more.

Charlie, I looked specifically for those things you mentioned, and I truly did not see them.

--------SPOILERS--------

The first thing I looked for was a sense of "duty to family". I never saw this; instead I saw a very warm, loving, happy family of which Charlie was right in the middle. I think that he was unwilling to sacrifice his family for the chocolate factory instead of feeling like he "had to stay" with his family. I love how Tim Burton portrayed this family; I would love to be a part of it!

I also did not notice an overly mean father on Wonka's part. Though he did appear strict, I don't think he was mean or abusive or, more importantly, malevolent. The key to this, of course, is when Wonka returns; instead of calling his son a failure, they hugged. His father smiled and was proud of his son; you can see the love. The clippings too are key to understanding that his father really did care.

In fact, I will go so far to call this the most moral movie I have seen come out of Hollywood this year. It is a perfect exercise in Aristotelean ethics, each "room" being a testing ground for the Vice of an individual. It was only the person who could overcome these challenges and prove themselves virtuous that was worthy of the Wonka Empire.

Another curious thing that I love was that each child was defeated...by his own Vice! Wonka never did anything to them except provide the opportunity for Vice (but this happens everywhere). Each child, of their own volition, kicked themselves out. Quite marvelous!

So, I stand firmly by my rating!

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So you gave it a ten, I take it?

I do think it was a very moral movie, but I still think it overemphasizes the importance of family. Out of curiosity, what do you think Mike TV's vice is? The others are pretty obvious, but I didn't think he was entirely bad, just very annoying.

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So you gave it a ten, I take it?

I do think it was a very moral movie, but I still think it overemphasizes the importance of family.  Out of curiosity, what do you think Mike TV's vice is?  The others are pretty obvious, but I didn't think he was entirely bad, just very annoying.

I think the value it places on family is just because: Family (if you have a good one) should be one of the highest values in your life.

As to Mike TV, I would say that his vice was a malevolent sense of destruction (sensless destruction), mixed with a "know-it-all" attitude. He, alongside all other characters, have an excess of "pride"-they think themselves greater than they are in some way or another.

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I just returned from seeing this film, and I really loved it. Burton's vision is clearly the star of the film, as well as the glue that holds it together. His style and technique is just incredible. Depp et al were all terrific, but Freddie Highmore as Charlie continues to amaze me, right on the coattails of playing against Depp in Finding Neverland.

Like others here I enjoyed many of the values portrayed in the film, but it is unfortunate that the good lies in Charlie who is portrayed as an unexceptional kid, while the drive, ambition, and talent of Violet, the smarts of Mike, and the riches of Veruca's father all have such bad elements as to render them of little value. I can easily put these portrayals aside to bask in the positive aspects of this film, but sometime it would be nice to see a kid as a hero who is smart, talented, ambitious and rich, and enjoys it too!

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I can easily put these portrayals aside to bask in the positive aspects of this film, but sometime it would be nice to see a kid as a hero who is smart, talented, ambitious and rich, and enjoys it too!

For smart, talented, and ambitious, how about "Matilda" <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117008/> also based on a children's book by Rouald Dahl?

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Like others here I enjoyed many of the values portrayed in the film, but it is unfortunate  that the good lies in Charlie who is portrayed as an unexceptional kid, while the drive, ambition, and talent of Violet, the smarts of Mike, and the riches of Veruca's father all have such bad elements as to render them of little value.

I had a different take on it: Charlie was the only true valuer among the kids. Mike and Violet waved their achievements in the faces of others in the pursuit of a pseudo self-esteem. Veruca was a spoiled brat who wanted material things on a whim, without really valuing them.

Obviously, the author wasn't an Objectivist, but as you say, such things can be set aside for the sake of enjoying the other wonderful values in the film. And there are many. Isn't wonderful to see Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, and Danny Elfman together? Those guys are so off-the-wall wild within their fields (acting, directing, and songwriting) that to combine their skills using an off-the-wall story is just wonderful.

I kept thinking, though, how much Depp's Wonka seemed to channel Michael Jackson. That was borderline creepy.

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Like others here I enjoyed many of the values portrayed in the film, but it is unfortunate  that the good lies in Charlie who is portrayed as an unexceptional kid, while the drive, ambition, and talent of Violet, the smarts of Mike, and the riches of Veruca's father all have such bad elements as to render them of little value.

I had a different take on it: Charlie was the only true valuer among the kids. Mike and Violet waved their achievements in the faces of others in the pursuit of a pseudo self-esteem. Veruca was a spoiled brat who wanted material things on a whim, without really valuing them.

Perhaps I was not clear, because we do not see the facts differently. I agree that Charlie was a valuer -- that is what made him so endearing -- but right from the beginning narrative Charlie was contrasted against the traits of drive, ambition, talent, and smarts as it existed in the other children. Charlie was described as ordinary, not one of those special kids born to the rich and powerful. It is precisely because those traits were marred by the poor character of the other children that I lamented not seeing exceptional talent, ambition, and intelligence in a child whose character was deserving of those traits. I wished for seeing a Charlie that was exceptional in that way, but that would be a different story.

Obviously, the author wasn't an Objectivist, but as you say, such things can be set aside for the sake of enjoying the other wonderful values in the film.  And there are many.  Isn't wonderful to see Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, and Danny Elfman together?  Those guys are so off-the-wall wild within their fields (acting, directing, and songwriting) that to combine their skills using an off-the-wall story is just wonderful.

Yes, they all worked so well together, but I think Burton's imprint is the overwhelming one.

I kept thinking, though, how much Depp's Wonka seemed to channel Michael Jackson.  That was borderline creepy.

That's sort of funny since it is reported that Depp used Marilyn Manson as his inspiration for the part.

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This was the first movie I went to since seeing Star Wars 3 12 times. Yes, I am actually bragging. I didn't know it before I saw it (because I remember hating the original movie as a kid) but this movie has a lot of what I like to see in a movie. It was a delight, and I agree about the mixed pleasures in the morality in this film, although that is hardly the reason I let my wife talk me into seeing it.

Tim Burton has to be one of my favorite directors. He has a stamp of personality on all of his films. The pieces that make it up (camera angles, pacing, lighting, sets, etc) equal a sum that is a stylization that cannot be mistaken. And it is wholly different, that is, it is a wholly unique experience. He is right up there with M. Night Shyamalan. Another director that is unique in his approach.

What can be said of Johnny Depp? Brando was certainly right when he said the future of acting belonged to him. Anybody see Depp in Don Juan DeMarco? Superb. I always like to hear where Depp gets his inspirations, they are always interesting, sometimes unexpected, sometimes bizarre, and sometimes right on cue. For instance Depp's inspiration for the Pirates of the Caribbean was Keith Richards. Ah, of course! Who else?

My motivation for seeing this was Burton + Depp. Always a good combo, and they always pay off.

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That's sort of funny since it is reported that Depp used Marilyn Manson as his inspiration for the part.

I have always heard this, but I fail to believe it. Marilyn Manson seems so dark and depressing...which is totally not the view I got of Johnny Depp.

When I first heard about this movie (and about the Marilyn Manson thing), I was convinced that the movie would be a very dark, malevolent, "creepy" movie.

Thankfully it wasn't!

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Incidentally, although Christopher Lee is excellent in the role, I could have done without the flashbacks. Is it really necessary to the telling of Charlie's story? I think it would have been better to leave it out. What would be wrong with leaving Wonka's backstory a mystery?

By analogy, the first Star Wars movie made the most of being set in a galaxy far, far away. The references to some clone war in the past added a layer to the story. But making the alluded-to explicit with episodes 1 - 3 undermines that. The imagination is not allowed to run free. Instead it becomes a ho-hum bit for the audience, as they already have this information and the exposition is now redundant.

There is much aesthetic virtue in leaving some things unsaid. One can build suspense by just hinting at something in passing, just as one can ruin it by being blatantly obvious.

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I had the same thought, Ed. Depp as Wonka reminded me a LOT of michael jackson. It worked well, but it was very unsettling (which I suppose was the idea).

I also agree that it would have been better to leave Wonka's past unknown. It lets you think of all kinds of speculations for where he might have come from, rather than forcing you to accept that he was actually rather ordinary as a kid.

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What can be said of Johnny Depp? Brando was certainly right when he said the future of acting belonged to him. Anybody see Depp in Don Juan DeMarco?

Magnificent acting in a great movie. Member Ed from OC put that movie up for rating here .

Superb. I always like to hear where Depp gets his inspirations, they are always interesting, sometimes unexpected, sometimes bizarre, and sometimes right on cue. For instance Depp's inspiration for the Pirates of the Caribbean was Keith Richards. Ah, of course! Who else?

There is a Johnny Depp movie I like that no one seems to know about; the 1995 Nick of Time. Depp plays, believe it or not, an accountant, and he wears a business suit and glasses! I'd love to know where he got the inspiration for that role! :)

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