Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 3 out of 5
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005)
PGContains mild language and peril

Deliciously dark and packed with candy-coloured visuals, Tim Burton's adaptation of Roald Dahl's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is an intoxicating endorphin rush. Freddie Highmore is engagingly winsome as one of five children who scores a ticket to the world's most magnificent chocolate factory. But it's his Finding Neverland co-star Johnny Depp who steals the show as the oddball chocolatier. While the story is a little soft in the centre, his take on Willy Wonka is a richly layered treat.

There's more than a touch of Wacko Jacko about his childlike demeanour - even down to the nervous giggle - but the genius of Depp's performance is that he manages to be creepy, sympathetic and hilarious all at once; "Papa?" he whimpers, when Charlie introduces him to his Grandpa Joe (David Kelly). Straight away it's clear that Wonka is a few fondants short of the whole box...


Screenwriter John August embellishes Dahl's story with carefully pitched flashbacks to Wonka's traumatic childhood and gives Depp the edge over Gene Wilder's 1971 portrayal. The backstory lends a darker tone, but strangely for Burton, the idea of the four "rotten children" who disappear one by one on the factory tour lacks a palpable sense of menace. His greatest strength is in creating a seductive but slightly off-kilter wonderland rippled with chocolate rivers and where marshmallows grow on shrubs harvested by pygmy-like Oompa-Loompas (all played by Deep Roy). With a garnish of zingy dialogue ("Don't touch that squirrel's nuts, it makes him crazy!"), the finished product is a confection sure to bring out the child in any fudge-loving fuddy-duddy.

End Credits

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: John August

Stars: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Deep Roy, Christopher Lee, Annasophia Robb, Helena Bonham Carter

Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Length: 114 minutes

Cinema: 29 July 2005

Country: USA

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