Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Review : Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory


Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Based on the fantastic and wonderful story by Roald Dahl, of how a life changing miracle happens to one young boy, when he visits the factory of the so called brilliant 'Willy Wonka'.

Hey There Film Lovers

In today's film review, I thought I'd do you all the pleasure of reviewing, a cherished and much liked musical film 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'.  It's based on the novel by Roald Dahl, and is regarded as being one of his most popular stories that he did. This film is the first of two versions of the story to be released in cinema. This of course is the earlier version, and regarded by most people as being the better version. I'd be obliged to agree.

They say 'With great power, comes great responsibilty'. What I mean by that is, the production of this film were presented with a popular story, and the pressure must of been on to produce something that the public liked. All of Roald Dahl's stories are memorable in their own way.

Obviously 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' was one of his most popular. It has it's own little messages of 'don't be spoiled', 'don't be greedy', 'don't take anything for granted', it also has messages of 'responsibilty' and how one can be accountable for one another. As well as all the mad and wonderful things that are inside the Factory, it's all a great test. So for the film makers and the director to produce something close to novel, and have moments of their own in there as well is very commendable.

The film stars the fantastic Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, who is infinitely better than Johnny Depp's interpretation of the character. He just so controlled in every single scene, that you can not fault his performance, unless your being nit picky. It's not a perfect performance, by any standard of acting. However what is, is someone bringing the character that someone else imagined to life, and making that character brilliant; and real. That's what's important about the Gene Wilder 'Willy Wonka' you believe that he is 'Mr Wonka' from moment one.

There's one moment that stands out in my mind of Gene Wilder's performance, and that is the scene where he acts as if Charlie has lost. Though that scene isn't in the book. It's incredibly powerful. It actually puts a slight twist on things, it brings the audience something that they didn't expect. Gene Wilder himself acts in that scene brilliantly, especially when he raises his voice to show enfusastic temper. And he's assisted by Jack Albertson who plays 'Grandpa Joe' and Peter Ostrum who plays 'Charlie'. So you know what I'll say next Gene Wilder, playing the title role. Easily the best performance in this film, by a clear mile.

However other people like Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum were really good. Even Aubrey Woods who played the corner sweet shop owner, was really impressive. So this film isn't far from showing a good performance from it's cast. Which is more that can be said for the more recent version, which is a dire. And I know what you must be thinking 'Review that then, why's that so bad?'.

The Film stays true to the story. It's about a poor boy, who starts with nothing and coming up on top and ending up as a winner. He is offered the opportunity to tour the most eccentric, and extraordinary candy factory of all. However there's more to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory that meets the eye.

Had bit of trouble finding clips for this, so I can only show you 'Pure Imagination' It's not much, but at least it's something from the film.

The pace of this film is perfect. This film is 100 minutes! HOORAY! It's witty, It's fun, It's not too long, It's just the kind of light hearted film I like.

This film isn't only an adaptation, it's also a musical. This film is filled with songs. Some of which sadly drag the film out for me. Which is a pity, but that's the problems with most musicals. Filled with a lot of stupid and unnecessary songs, "shut up and get on with the story" is what I always say.

In moments of gaps in the story, there's lots of padding to fill those gaps. In which the story doesn't really go anywhere or the story doesn't progress as well as quickly as one intended. For instance the wallpaper licking scene, it's nice to have it in, but It could of been cut to save time and make the story run a little bit quicker.

The interior of the Factory, it looks like a factory. But one of things that benefits the Tim Burton version as apposed to this one is the fact that the factory in that film, actually looks like a magical place. Where as the set design for the Factory in this film, is a little below par. But for a production of 1971, I can simphaise with what they tried to do, but failed upon. The Factory interior I think doesn't completely make the audience believe what they're experiencing is the same place that Dahl emphasised to be a 'magical' place in the book.

However, having said that I still think this is a very good film indeed. It dares to turn one of Roald Dahl's best stories into a reality. In the way only media can.

I will give this film 8. Not 9, because I think it has it's failings in parts. But not much, I think 9 would be a bit too generous. so 8/10. But still a very good film.

1 Gold Star to Gene Wilder - and well deserved.

Thank very much for reading this review.

NEXT TIME: I will review Pirates of the Caribbean : The Curse of the Black Pearl. I will post that review on Friday the 11th of October 2013.

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