July 17, 2005



Does anyobody think it's notable that Tim Burton made a whole movie about how Michael Jackson hates his Dad? Not notable bad, but notable. As somone who read Dahl's book obsessively as a kid (that dinner chewing gum was my jones), I think Burton's rendering of the factory and the magical sweets is dead-on. Depp is so pleasingly freaky and pleased by his freak that I couldn't help but be pleased by him. Burton's digi dunk completely erases the crappy first version in about three minutes.

My question is: Can you combine Michael Jackson and God? The original book is about Wonka as God, he who punsihes Bad Kids for Bad Desires a.k.a. Sins. Wonka, in the book, exhibits no human psychology and has no history; Burton added Wonka's dental Dad. But since this new Oedipally Jacksonian Wonka wouldn't, and doesn't, give a shit about punishing any kids for any sins (notice the beginning, where Wonka Depp very convincingly dislikes and ignores the kids), Dahl's holy retribution meted out via garbage and blueberric DNA just hangs there in the frame next to the Oedipal cavities and head-braces and candy grass. These ideas just don't go together: NOT peanut butter and chocolate.

And I love happy endings, but, having committed to Phobic Neverland Wonka, complete with slave labor mini-Freud, couldn't Charlie Bucket get his pot of gold without suturing Wonka's wounds?

(You know when you listen to that playlist of all your favorite songs? It's really cool, because they're all good. They should make albums like that.)

Posted by Sasha at July 17, 2005 09:52 PM | TrackBack