This weekend, when I was supposed to be working, I basically just messed around a bunch. In addition to enjoying Greensleeves, I also ended up watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I am speaking of the version with Johnny Depp, the newer one (for the record, the older one was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, not “Charlie”).
I have watched the older one numerous times, and this was my second time seeing the newer one. I must say, the newer one was far superior. Both the movies added in plotlines that were not in the book, but I felt the “Charlie” version was truer to the spirit. It actually made Wonka into a three-dimensional character, explaining his obsession with chocolate and adding in a good message about family and love and mushy stuff. The “Wonka” version added in a silly bit about the recipe for Everlasting Gobstoppers and it was quite stupid in that aspect.
Another major plus for the “Charlie” version was the visual effects work. The actor who played all the Oompa Loompas (he is Indian btw!) did a hilarious job, and the overall effect of all these similar-looking Oompa Loompas was much better than the odd-looking one in the “Wonka” version. The “Charlie” version had a much more magical feel to it, and the coloration of the entire movie was very nice. It was very . . . saturated, I guess you would call it. The dark was dark and the colors were bright. It was very surreal and more the way the factory I always imagined was.
One thing I loved about the newer movie is that they took almost all of their lyrics from the original songs Roald Dahl wrote. I have read the book itself more times than can be counted (I used to have a few of the lyrics memorized), so it was really delightful to hear the original lyrics. :D
While I have said all these great things about the “Charlie” version, the “Wonka” version is not bad at all either. I would recommend both to anyone.
Roald Dahl, the author of the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory novel, has written some of the best books ever. No lie. I have read pretty much every story he has written for children (and some of what he has written for adults). I used to own several of his books (I never figured out what happened to them . . . ), and borrowed the rest from my friend Kari (the one who taught me the piano). I even did a book report on one. His writing is just magical, and I cannot imagine life without books like Matilda, Esio Trot, The Witches, Danny the Champion of the World, BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and all of his other stuff, too. When (if?) I have kids, they are going to read a ton of Roald Dahl. I just love his creativity and everything.
*sigh* I wish I could go back to the days when I read his books. I need to get my hands on some of them; I would like to see if I still think they are good.
tl;dr: Newer movie is better than the old. Roald Dahl is fuckin’ awesome.