Charlie and the Chocolate factory is one of two film adaptations of Roald Dahls 1943 children’s book. This 2005 rendition, directed by the eccentric Tim Burton, infamous for his dark fantastical works in film, is said to be most loyal to the book versus the 1971 version entitled Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory . Like the book, the film conveys a heavy theme of morality and family. The motif throughout the movie is bad children are punished while good children earn the coveted rewards. In this case, an entire chocolate factory. The film explores the effects of unscrupulous behavior and the gains of selflessness, kindness, and being family centered.
The plot centers around Charlie Buckets portrayed by Freddie Highmore, a dirt poor young boy who values his family above all. Charlie’s (Highmore) character is thoroughly filled out in the first thirty minutes of the film. It is easy to feel empathy for Charlie and sympathize with him because he is so poverty-stricken yet he is always concerned for others more than himself. Due to competitors sending in espionage to steal his secrets, Wonka fires his entire staff and shuts down the factory. Mysteriously business resumes after so many years but, no one is ever seen going in or out the factory. A news bulletin shakes the public when Wonka holds a contest where five golden tickets are hidden in Wonka bars all over the globe. The lucky winners and one guest will be allowed inside the factory for a tour where one will win an even bigger prize at the end. The first four tickets are found by the spoiled Veruca Salts, the obnoxious Mike Teavee, the greedy Augustus Gloop, and the arrogant and competitive Violet Beauregarde. After a couple of suspenseful let-downs, Charlie, who can only afford one Wonka bar a year on his birthday, finds the last remaining ticket. Charlie is the only child without a stereotypical character flaw an this contributes to the lesson teaching role throughout the film.
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