Despite loving the original film just as much as I have said I was nevertheless still looking forward to seeing the 2005 re-imagining. But in many ways what they have done in this version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is similar to what they did with the remake of Alice in Wonderland and I didn’t like either as much as I had hoped that I might have done.
I had wondered if the advances in technology between 1971 and 2005 might have been enhanced the story somewhat with new takes on some of the older themes and if Burton’s imagination would go wild with the visuals and the sweets and chocolate inside the factory. However in all honesty I don’t think that the end result was any better than in the original, in fact the original chocolate river still has to be the best in my opinion.
The acting, from a predominantly young cast, however is impressive. Depp whilst good was perhaps a little too strange. Shooting for angry at the world, he came across as more psychotic than anything else. Perhaps this is a change to modernise the material in some sense, but perhaps it results in the essence of the joy of indulgence being lost. All of the child actors seem to capture the sense of the story very well.
Burton as usual has 'weirded-up' the whole thing, most probably, for his own enjoyment and that is a disappointment for earlier generations who may have grown up with Dahl. But maybe this is something younger viewers will enjoy.
It’s still a good family film and is better than other efforts from companies such as Dreamworks, however if you have seen the original and are still hoping to be amazed by this 2005 version, just as much as you were by the 1971 version, you may be disappointed.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are available on DVD, Blu-ray and to download.