Monday, October 17, 2005
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The delicious experience of Cinema
People who really love cinema know well that the experience of seeing a film on the big screen can not be duplicated. No matter how much technology advances in order to construct the perfect Home Cinema with image and sound of the best quality the feeling in the big dark room of the cinema still remains unique. It’s the large audience that makes the difference. The way that it responds and moves with the flow of the images is amazing. Imagine now that among the audience there are a lot of children and the film is the new Tim Barton film with Johnny Depp. The children were laughing at all the proper moments and were exclaiming with admiration at every room of wonders of the chocolate factory and at every new sweet that appeared on the screen. At the end of the film they applauded as if Barton was there in the room with them and could hear and appreciate their applause.
In Barton’s bitter –sweet version of the famous book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” there is a mix of children and adult references and jokes. The jokes and most images are according to children’s taste and sense of humor. For example the scene of the leader of Uba- Luba mashing the bugs and offering to Wonga a plate fool of greenish thick gel is the distilled image of something children would consider disgusting. On the other hand there are lots of references to films and kinds of music that only a well educated adult would understand and appreciate. The television room is an obvious reference to Kubrick’s Odyssey 2001. The first dancing number of the Uba Luba reminds us the complex musical numbers of Hollywood’s golden era musicals. Other numbers remind us of the Abba or the rock scene. Wonga’ s character is embarrassingly strange and psychologically problematic for an adult and hilarious and excitingly strange for a child. Johny Depp as usually manages to create a character that is authentic and unique. His acting incorporates all those well thought details that make the difference between a simple convincing performance and a masterpiece which will remain in film-history. It is a real marvel how Barton manages to create a film that children can relate to and grown-ups can appreciate its sophistication.
And what is the meaning behind all this wonderfully crafted images and scenes? Besides the fact that children who are antagonistic, greedy, spoiled, knower-alls are obnoxious. Besides the idea that for the children’s bad characters parents are to blame. The deeper meaning is something that adults need to be reminded of and re-taught and children instinctively know. In life beauty and pleasure does not come from the things that are necessary but from those we don’t really need. Sweets have no nutritial value but chocolate can make us feel happy and in love.