Wacko Wonka in a retarded movie
The uncanny resemblance of Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka to eccentric popstar Michael Jackson hasn’t gone unnoticed. Willy Wonka’s deathly pallor, chimpish cheeks and unusual attire have been contrasted with that of the infamous singer. Unfortunately, the similarities don’t end there. Wonka lures children to his magical factory with sweeties, where they suffer several nasty surprises and are eventually returned to their parents in a considerably altered condition from when they arrived. Sound familiar, anyone?
There’s hardly anything to spoil in this one since it’s a remake of the old movie, and followed the book exactly, so I’ll speak freely.
Generally speaking, I liked the original better. Johnny Depp is just a bit too weird for me. His voice is very high and disturbing in this film. I’ve been told he was modeling his character on Michael Jackson (to some extent), and that seems like a reasonable choice. Michael Jackson is – like Wonka – somewhat of a recluse, an odd dresser, and … some might say (not me) … somewhat of a genius. Michael Jackson is also supposed to have a bad relationship with his father, like Wonka does in the new version. But the overall effect is a little too disturbing for my tastes. Depp does well at being disturbing, which is also a little disturbing, since he was pretty weird in Pirates of the Caribbean as well.
Charlie is better in this version, I think. He’s more honest and more likable. And somehow I liked the story line better in the remake. But I liked the Oompa Loompas better in the old version for one simple reason – you could understand what they were singing, and their songs followed that odd ancient theory that a song should have a melody. The styles of the songs were not even consistent in the movie. All I can say is the music was horrible. The Broadway Production version of the Oompa Loompas was certainly amusing, but their purpose in the storyline is to give the moral commentary on the horrible little monsters (the children), and since nobody could understand what the heck they were saying that purpose was foiled.