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Home»Features»Holiday Streams: Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a dark and delectable visual treat»

Holiday Streams: Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a dark and delectable visual treat

The 2005 film, starring Johnny Depp and Freddie Highmore, is based on Roald Dahl’s 1984 novel of the same name

Holiday Streams: Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a dark and delectable visual treat

  • Shilpa S

Last Updated: 10.57 AM, Dec 30, 2021


To bring to life a Roald Dahl creation is a daunting task, to say the least. The visionary author weaved a world of magic and mayhem, unlike no other, one which poses a hefty task for filmmakers to bring to the screen. But many have proven up to the task, some stumbling along the way and some hitting it out of the park. And even if the makers did succeed in nailing the overall look and aesthetic of Dahl’s fantasy world, the story and atmosphere complement them entirely and it's rare where a film manages to check all these demanding boxes. Enter Tim Burton and his gothic genius.

When Burton was tasked with adapting Dahl’s 1964 novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he was adamant that his adaptation would remain as faithful to the author’s work as possible, without compromising on its darker elements. As a longtime fan of Dahl, Burton certainly put in the work taking care not to repeat what was done by the makers of the 1971 film adaptation, which Dahl reportedly loathed. And thus was the 2005 film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the perfect blend of Burton’s gothic vision and Dahl’s outlandish fantasy world.

The film follows the story of a group of children from all over the world who are given the chance to visit one of the biggest chocolate factories in the world, owned by the reclusive chocolatier Willy Wonka. They are promised a lifetime supply of chocolates and a tour of the factory premises, which is closed for the rest of the world. At the end of the tour, Wonka promises one among them a gift beyond their wildest imagination.

To say the film is a wild visual treat would be an understatement. The makers’ tireless efforts into breathing life into Dahl’s confectionary kingdom led to some of the most breathtaking set designs of the time. From the moment the viewer is taken inside Wonka’s elusive factory, it's a feast for the eyes, and palate like no other. From the richness of the frothing chocolate river to the saccharine candied fruits, Wonka definitely seemed to have spared no expense when it comes to making a flourishing first impression. And it's not just the palatable props that are eye poppers. The whole movie includes some very eye-catching sequences, right down to a barrage of cuteness with a scene involving real-life trained squirrels.

And of course, who could forget the synchronised dance and song sequences, courtesy of the Oompa-Loompas, as they serenaded the nefariousness of each child who misbehaved. The little smirk Wonka has that magically vanishes when he is faced with a distraught parent, and the master chocolatier’s recounting of his tragic childhood, also serves as markings of Burton’s trademark ‘ghastliness in a shiny package’ art.

The filmmaker, however, still leaves the audience with some valuable life lessons in the end, one centred around love, loyalty and family.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is available to stream on Netflix.