Saturday, May 07, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I am a fan of this book. Now. It took me awhile.
I used to be a fan JUST based on the movie. I knew the movie was genius - so must the book be. Of course I see the flaw in my logic. Rarely if ever is the movie as good as the book (there are a few exceptions: The World According to Garp, The Shining, The Dead Zone) and even more rare is the movie that is BETTER than the book (Carrie). I just put my trust in Roald Dahl and lauded the book to any kid willing to show an interest.

I finally picked it up and really read it through myself. There were several things that were different than the movie. Some things I can take as artistic license - the description of the oompah loompahs (how would they have found actors that tiny?), the exact sequence of events (audiences will only sit thru so many hours), even how many people got to go into the factory (what's one more whining enabling parent here or there?). But where was Charlie's father in the movie? Poor Mrs. Bucket had to take care of a small child and those 4 old coots all by herself on the big screen - plus they made her sing a truly bad song(that's saying something since the song "Candyman" is in there - sans Sammy Davis, Jr.) Charlie and Grandpa Joe don't even get into trouble with the fizzy lifting drinks in the book version!...Well, that turned out ok since I always find the excessive burping they have to do to return to land more than a little distasteful.

All in all, I accept the book as it is - a kids book - and the movie as it is - entertainment for a wider audience. Both swell in their own rights.

I worry about the upcoming Johnny Depp version. Oh, yes, he has the stunning smile and soulful eyes...but my Willy Wonka must have the excessively curly hair and blue eyes of the 1971 Gene Wilder version.
Mr. Wilder as Mr. Wonka
I just can't envision a pretty boy Wonka. Nor do I particularly want to.

ok, I may give it a chance...but he better do the cane roll somersault as well as Gene or I'm outta there!

1 comment:

Lesa said...

"I heard the Candyman's voice as soon as I opened the door."

"But the Candyman stopped me cold. It was a visceral reaction. Every time I heard him, I wanted to run screaming down the street."

These are quotes from Jeanne Ray's new novel, "Julie and Romeo Get Lucky." Julie's grandchildren live with her, and her granddaughter, Sarah, has watched the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory six thousand times. However, even Sarah found the movie boring when Charlie's mother was singing her song.

Loved coming across this in a book after Ann's comments about the movie and book.