Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Here's an excellent movie for the whole family based upon the classic book by Rohld Dahl. It tells of the story of a poor kid named Charlie Bucket who is given the opportunity of a lifetime (as well as pretty much every kid's dream) when he finds a golden ticket in his bar of chocolate. The movie's plot is pretty simple and easy to follow: 5 young children all get a tour of a magnificent chocolate factory owned by the eccentric master candy maker Willy Wonka.

Of course, most of these children are some of the most ill-behaved brats you'll see on the big screen or small screen. They include a fat glutton, a smug gum chewer, a spoiled brat and a television addict. One thing I would like to note is that there is an even gender distribution between these children and that the females are treated the same as the males.



As the group move further into the vast and magical chocolate factory the children dwindle one by one, each giving in to their own particular vice and doing something to earn a fitting punishment. While each of the punishments they receive are pretty extreme there is once again no discrimination with the girls getting off no lighter than the boys. (One turns into a giant blueberry and almost explodes and the other very nearly gets burned alive.)

Director Tim Burton also decides to flesh out the character of Willy Wonka a bit more by showing flashbacks between him and his father. We learn that as a young child Willy was forbidden from eating candy and forced to wear large braces by his overbearing, but well-meaning dentist father. They have a brief argument and his father ends up disowning him.

  


By the end of the movie Charlie is selected to inherit the chocolate factory at the cost of disowning his own family. Charlie refuses and returns home, leaving Willy Wonka a lot to think about. I won't spoil how the movie ends, but it is very heart-warming. Everyone's story ends on a mostly positive note (even the rotten kids) and young Charlie teaches Willy an important lesson.

Honestly, this movie portrays men just as well as it portrays women. Both of Charlie's parents are very kind, loving, and hardworking while the other kids mothers and fathers are portrayed in a more negative light. In other words, there really isn't a good and evil in this movie so much as there are people with flaws. Some make mistakes, but most everyone at least means well. The mean children all learn something by the end of the movie and are implied to be, if nothing else, just a little bit better off than they were before.

 

As for male bashing... I don't really see any here. Even the worst male characters have a few redeeming qualities and it's the same for the female characters. Overall the movie is very light-hearted with few dark moments. If you ever get a chance to watch this movie with your kids (or just yourself) don't pass it up. It may not entertain you as much as more mature films, but it'll probably at least keep you entertained.
                    - Reviewed by: Midnight Undead

Rating: PG (Mild crude humor, fantasy violence, some minor disturbing images)
Duration: 1 hour and 55 minutes
   
 
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