Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Movie Meaning & Plot Summary

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Why Only Charlie Bucket Survived? The Essence Of The Film Charlie And The Chocolate Factory” (2005), Meaning, Plot, Characters, Similar Horror Films

Country: USA

Genre: fantasy

Year of production: 2005

Directed by: Tim Burton

Actors: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor

tagline: “Get ready for a chocolatey taste of adventure”

Awards and nominations: In 2006, the film was nominated for an Oscar (nominated for Best Costumes)

This picture of Tim Burton is habitually referred to as the “horror” genre, although this is not so. The essence of the film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is that you need to follow your dream and wait for it to come true. But not at any cost.

History of creation

The film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with Johnny Depp is based on the work of the same name by the wonderful English storyteller Roald Dahl. The book (an original author’s fairy tale with vivid descriptions, healthy black humor and interesting characters) was released in 1964, and in 1971 a film based on it was released, which was called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The first version of the script was written by the writer himself, but later the text underwent major changes.

Willy WonkaA scene from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

It so happened that the concept of the old film (1971) was different from the idea laid down by Dahl. That is why the writer did not like him, who noted that his book is a story about Charlie, and Willy Wonka came to the fore in the film.

In the late nineties, another eminent storyteller, Tim Burton, became interested in the book. He quickly wrote the script, but due to funding problems, filming was delayed for several years. The main role was expected to be Jim Carrey, but Burton refused his candidacy, saying that he was not shooting a good family film, but a dark fairy tale with a touch of horror. After that, no one doubted the choice of an actor for the role of Wonka – it was the director’s favorite Johnny Depp.

Plot of the film

Synopsis for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In the center of the plot, Charlie Bucket is a boy from a poor family. More than anything, Charlie loves chocolate, which at least somehow brightens up his rather gloomy life.

One of the main attractions of the city in which Charlie lives is the chocolate factory of Willy Wonka, the enigmatic confectionery magnate. The boy’s grandfather used to work there, but after an unpleasant episode with competitors who learned the secrets of making delicious chocolate, he, like other employees, was fired.

Freddie HighmoreFreddie Highmore played the role of Charlie Bucket. Frame from the film.

Since then, the factory has closed, although it continued to work. One day, Mr. Wonka announced an unusual action. After making five golden tickets, he put them in five chocolate bars. And he said that the children who found these tickets would be able to enter the factory and receive a lifetime supply of sweets. And one of the tourists, according to the confectioner, will receive a special prize.

The first ticket was found by August Gloop, a young gluttonous chocolate lover. The second ticket was received by the major girl Veruca Salt: her father, the millionaire Salt, indulging his daughter’s desire, bought several hundred thousand chocolate bars. The third ticket went to athlete Violetta Beauregard, and the fourth ticket went to chocolate-hating prodigy Mike Teavee, who, thanks to his unique mathematical abilities, managed to figure out exactly where he was. The fifth ticket went to Charlie Bucket – and then by pure chance.

At first, the boy thought about selling the golden ticket and helping the family, but Joe’s grandfather, a former employee of Wonka’s factory, convinced him not to do it.

Soon, the guys who found the tickets, accompanied by adults, came to the factory, where they were met by the eccentric Mr. Wonka. Having greeted the guests, the confectioner invited them to the Chocolate Shop and advised them not to lose their heads from what they saw. There, the heroes saw strange little singing men – Oompa-Loompas, who, as it turned out, did all the work.

chocolate FactoryFrame from the film.

None of them listened to what they sang about. And in vain – because the Oompa-Loompas sang about them. The first wonders of the factory could not stand August Gloop, who tried to drink the chocolate river, and eventually turned into strawberry fudge. Then, despite Mr. Wonka’s warnings, Violetta Beauregard paid the price for her obstinacy. After tasting unprocessed chewing gum, the girl turned into a giant blueberry. Veruca Salt was the next to drop out: the daughter of a millionaire did not covet chocolate, but one of the squirrels working at the magic factory. She, like her father, was thrown into the garbage chute.

Failure also awaited the young genius Mike Teavee – at first he was reduced, and then stretched in length, moreover, Mr. Wonka said that he would remain so (flat as a piece of paper) forever.

Only Charlie Bucket was able to overcome all the temptations of a wonderful factory – he became the recipient of a valuable prize. And the prize was the chocolate factory itself. Charlie was happy – exactly until the moment when Mr. Wonka announced the condition: the boy could become the new owner of a wonderful factory only if he abandoned his family. For Charlie Bucket, who sincerely loved his poor but friendly family, this was unacceptable.

After a while, the boy’s family really began to live better. Closer to the final, Charlie again met with Mr. Wonka, who could not find the answer to his tormenting question: why the family was more important for his winner than the chocolate factory. Charlie said that he won the impromptu competition thanks to the support of his relatives.

Charlie boy's familyNoah Taylor as Bucket’s father, Helena Bonham Carter as Charlie Bucket’s mom, Freddie Highmore as Charlie, David Kelly as Grandpa Joe. Frame from the film.

Mr. Wonka thought seriously, and a little later he found his father, from whom he ran away as a child, and reconciled with him. The explanation for the ending looks like this: there is nothing more important than family.

Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a fairly simple film with no hidden meaning. But on the other hand, he raises the issue of fathers and children and family values.

The meaning of the film

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a fairy tale, and the essence of the film is also a fairy tale. The target audience of this film is children aged 8-12 (adults may be interested only in the magnificent visuals and Johnny Depp). Therefore, it is not surprising that this eerie story has a powerful edifying message.

The meaning of the whole story can be summed up in two words: crime and punishment. In the images of “bad” children, common vices are represented, including rudeness and greed. They all get what they deserve, and the sweet and modest Charlie finds a reward and happiness.

The role of the arbiter of fate is taken by a mega-strange subject – the owner of a factory that produces magical sweets. The factory itself is a whole world filled with secret nooks and crannies and creepy devices. On the one hand, all this intrigues, surprises and delights, on the other hand, “not all that glitters is gold”. Here you can easily drown in a lake of chocolate or be attacked by thousands of squirrels.

Johnny DeppWilly Wonka played by Johnny Depp. Frame from the film.

Mr. Willy Wonka, of course, can laugh it off and say that everything is in order, but … in the manuscript of Roald Dahl, which was published relatively recently, it was said about a much larger number of children who visited the factory. Not everyone returned…

In their analysis, viewers note that Charlie receives the main prize not at all because of his personal merits, but because he is a quiet and polite boy from a very poor family, who is used to obeying. That is, the meaning of the whole story looks like this: be gray, do not arise, and maybe you will be lucky.

His antagonists are carriers of mortal sins. In particular, the young genius Mike Teavee symbolizes idleness and anger, Violetta – pride, Veruca – greed, and Augustus Gloop – gluttony.

Charlie is completely free from these sins. But for what reason? According to one interpretation, poverty prevents this character from sinning. The fact that Charlie could well have been a greedy glutton is evidenced by the fact that he bought a chocolate bar at a time when his family was starving. That is, he could well be punished, like the rest. However, the meaning of the story is that Charlie was not punished … And this is its beauty: Charlie is essentially all of us, and we have the right to hope for a miracle.

Who are you, Mr Wonka?

In the book, he is a very mysterious character. In essence, this is an unkind wizard, who, according to the concept of history, is a metaphor for a punishing God. That is, this is not a person, and this is indicated quite clearly in the book.

In the movie, Willy Wonka is just an eccentric chocolate magnate. The whole rendezvous looks like his attempt at fun. It was because of his “humanization” (Tim Burton came up with a whole drama with Wonka’s father, which, of course, was not in the book) that creepy theories began to appear. According to one of them, the key to Mr. Wonka’s behavior lies in the fact that he is a sociopathic maniac who solves the problem of his children’s complexes in such an extraordinary way.

This theory is supported by the amazing luck of Charlie Bucket, who was able to get his golden ticket in an absolutely fantastic way. That is, we can conclude that there were no random people at the factory. The chain of events that led Charlie to the ticket suggests that the wizard chose him as his heir long before the action began.

Wonka’s maniacity is proved by the fact that he justifies the massacre of sin-bearers with strict criteria. So, the first victim, Augustus Glupa, personifying gluttony, was devoured by a huge pipe. But what happened to him is far from the worst.

Much more terrible is the fate of Veruca, who demanded a squirrel from Mr. Wonka. We see that the girl herself is dressed in a fur coat, and in her house there is a huge number of stuffed animals. Did Mr. Wonka know about this, arranging her fall into the garbage chute? Most likely, yes: the whole scene with intelligent squirrels (who actually eat not only nuts and mushrooms, but also meat) looks like a sophisticated revenge.

Mr. Wonka uses his factory as a giant gingerbread house to lure “bad” kids there and deal with them according to their sins. The winners of the Golden Ticket are not its first victims. When the Oompa-Loompas sing their first song, the wizard says that they haven’t had an audience for many moons. That is, given that the factory was closed for many years and the Oompa-Loompas never left it, it is quite obvious that other children previously listened to magic songs. It can be concluded that adventures in the factory are not the first time.

Charlie, the preselected winner, had to witness four acts of mutilation. It was he who pushed Wonka to reconcile with his father, which eventually led to the destruction of the inner monster of the insane pastry chef.

factory tourFrame from the film.

Similar films

Here are some pictures similar to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”:

  • Alice in Wonderland (USA, UK, 2010). 19-year-old Alice chases the White Rabbit and disappears down the rabbit hole. Thus begins her surreal journey;
  • Edward Scissorhands (USA, 1990). The tragic story of an artificial human being is, in fact, another variation of the Frankenstein theme;
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (Great Britain, France, Canada, 2009). Doctor Parnassus has an amazing gift that allows him a lot. But the price for it is very high.

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