The 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie promotes a dark moral lesson of the gluttony, pride, greed and ignorance. The film has undertone of consequences of good and bad behaviour in children. The analogies are visibly projected in the film of how those who characterize the hideous vice to get their comeuppance, on the contrary, those who characterize loving and caring traits eventually meet their fortune. Music numbers were incorporated to emphasize their doomed punishment. This movie draw the audience into a beyond imaginative story that shows us love and passion could still be found in our society.
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 2005 musical adventure film directed by Tim Burton. It is an adaption of the 1964 children’s book of the same name by Roald Dahl. Johnny Depp starred as Willy Wonka and Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket. The story if about a talented Willy Wonka, the eccentric owner of a chocolate factory, hid five golden tickets in his Wonka chocolate bars. The lucky finders of the golden ticket will be invited to visit the factory with one family member, and one of the five will then win a lifetime supply of chocolates and a special secret prize. All five children who win golden tickets present different personality traits and behaviour, as well as their family members.
The chocolate factory is run by Oompa-Loompas, a tribe of little people from “Loompaland”, whom Wonka invited to work for him in return of Coca beans. Upon the journey inside the mysterious chocolate factory, the children, one by one, are eliminated accordingly to their misbehaviour. Only Charlie is spared and carries the day winning the special secret prize which turns out to be the inheritance of the factory. However, Charlie refuses because Wonka insist Charlie to leave his family behind. At last, Charlie assist Wonka to reconcile with his alienated father and Charlie, ultimately inherits the chocolate factory.
Though there is not a specific time of history or place setting in the movie, the story is easily noticeable that it starts in cold snowy winter. Winter is a sign of hibernation and perseverance. But there is hidden renewed hope in the far-off distance as spring follows. Houses are lined up neatly with snow covering almost every corner of the town. Charlie’s old and shabby house outstands itself at the very edge of the city, and the mysterious chocolate factory at the very top center of the town. This is a symbolic imaginary of social class. Various social theories propose a hierarchy arrangement of people in society. Wonka being at the top is viewed as the elites with a great deal of power and intelligence. By contrast, Charlie’s family at the edge is clearly reinforced their struggle routines; with no power or worldly goods and just barely have enough to eat.
About Prince Pondicherry and his Chocolate Palace
Grandpa Joe later on in the movie tells Charlie about the Chocolate Palace story in order to further describe Willy Wonka. There is a scene where Willy Wonka builds a terrific palace made of only chocolate for a wealthy prince Pondicherry. Pondicherry despite Wonka’s warning, insist to live in it. Soon after, on a very hot day, the palace melts and totally falls apart. Mr. Wonka indeed is a brilliant artist and he sure is someone who gives advices that should be taken seriously. This part of the movie plays a foreshadowing revelation of unpleasant consequences might follows if Wonka’s advice is not taken seriously. In reality, although not too many considerable advices are deemed wise and righteous, but we should be able to differentiate from the good and evil with objective judgment. To be bent on having one’s own way, one will be responsible for the consequences of their own.
About the five Golden Ticket Winners
There are five music numbers with stage exorbitantly choreographed sequence, set to each turning point in this movie. Danny Elfman is the composer of the music scores; he also performed the four, among the five, vocals of the songs that are sung by the Oompa-Loompas in the film. Each number with its scene returns a moral lesson of a corrupted aspect of society. They serve not only as a specially entertainment but also emphasize the story’s key moments and lead the audience to the next stage of the movie.
Physical appearances are believed to be an important factor in the development of social relations; however, the implications of ominous factor are often hidden in many superficial judgments. This is fully examined in the first music number played at the entrance of Wonka’s factory. Mr. Wonka welcomes the five golden ticket holders and their family member to his “humble factory” with a cheerful mechanical welcoming show. The “Wonka’s Welcome Song” was electronically performed by little plastic puppets with large round weighted eyes and peeled looking skin. The show is delightful, luminous and colourful. The music starts with various children laughter, and continues in jumping rhythm giving the visitors a warm cheerful welcoming; however, the show ends in small fire caused by the haywire spark of fireworks and the music ends with a hitch. The welcoming show is not pure entertainment, it implies though the chocolate factory seems bright and joyous, there are certain hidden consequential threats to be carefully discovered. A cursory glance and jumping to conclusion is actually as old as it is common in today’s society. We are taught that objectivity is desirable, and this societal moral value is often controllable so long as conceit or negligence is not occupying too much of our ego. Otherwise, unknowable consequence might have been lining up next.
This first musical number brings us into this exciting journey yet threatening chocolate factory; and shows how this prelude can form such a profound message.
Apart from the first introducing number mentioned above, the later four numbers are performed by the Oompa-Loompas when each of the four repulsive children is eliminated from the contest. The songs are fetching and easy to remember, the lyrics are closely connected with each misbehaved children and summed up each lesson to be learned. The musical numbers play a recurrent motif protruding the children’s ill personality traits and at the same time demonstrating how their fatal action leads them meeting their doom.
In Ausgustus Gloop’s character, we see gluttony. Gluttony is a disliked societal sign of greed and shows extreme voracious eating and drinking, this lack of self control leads to unpleasant consequences as we see in the film. Wonka leads the group through a long tunnel upon entering the wonderful Chocolate room, where he explains that everything in the room is edible. Here we also meet the most important performers, the Oompa-Loompas. The Oompa-Loompas are the little choco-covered people working for Wonka inside the factory. They love to sing and dance, although sometimes in a mischievous way. The Oompa-Loompas performs the second number in this room while Augustus neglect Wonka’s warning, by eating himself into the chocolate river and being stuck in a tube of chocolate. The Oompa-Loompas dancing around and forms a large swimming circle sequence fitting the rhythms and music present in the song. The lyrics of the song convey Augustus’ character. “the great, big, greedy nincompoop, Augustus Gloop, so big and vile. So greedy, foul and infantileâ€¦” Augustus Gloop is a representation of gluttony. His overeating is one of the main reasons of his obesity and of course also a perfect example of defiance and unbalanced behaviour. The Oompa-Loompas continue, “This greedy brute, this louse’ ear is loved by people everywhere, for who could hate or bear a grudge against a luscious bit of fudge”. Gluttony might in turns appear to be desirable but this lack of self control can also occur in many other forms such as drinking, smoking or drug use other than eating. The key term is “too much” which leads to further horrible outcome. In this case, we see how Augustus met his doom and got almost made into fudge
Violet Beauregarde shows a characteristic of Pride. Pride allows too much ego built inside a person which first leads to incorrect decision making, and eventually failure. The third number was performed in the novel Inventing room when Wonka’s 3-course dinner gum serves Violet her downfall. Violet, being the gum chewing champion, claims the new invention of Wonka’s as “her type of gum”. Mr. Wonka warns Violet that the gum has not been perfected. Violet too, like Augustus, despite Wonka’s warning and throws the gum into her mouth. She describes the wondrous 3-courses dinner she tastes as she starting to transform. The Oompa-Loompas sings and dance mocking violet’s disgusting gum chewing habit. By repeating the chorus emphasizing her all day long gum chewing and by ending by saying they will try to save Violet before it is too late, although they are not sure that they can. It is indeed not her gum chewing that got her into trouble but her presumptuous behavior. We can see the same traits in her mother, a poor mannered lady with her pride at being the best, who encourages Violet to keep her “Eyes on the prize”. This competitive quality is highly established in capitalist society today. We compete at any and all levels, regardless of who we step on. The prize of being the first and the most competitive should earn us some sort of reward. It is an arrogance that misleads us to believe that we are always better than others. Pride hardens the mind and refuses the ears to hear the advice of other, consequently a big fall. Accordingly, Violet’s self-conceit turned herself into a giant blueberry.
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Veruca Salt, the queen, is a perfect demonstration of capricious greed. “Greed is the root of all evil” – Along with gluttony and pride, greed is also morally questionable. Like gluttony, greed is a strong desire for more possession and demand, etc. than a person need, which often leads to certain unwanted lesson. In this case, the shameful Veruca Salt who got badly spoilt by her parents fully demonstrates her little heart desires is the epitome of greed. Wonka takes the group into the nut room. He tells everyone about how the amazing squirrels are trained to shell walnuts and also discern a bad nut from a good one. Wonka warn off the group not to disturb the squirrel. Veruca strongly demand to have one of Wonka’s trained squirrels but Wonka refuses. She then went under the gate and reaches to grab one by herself. All the squirrels suddenly pounce on Veruca and one of them knock her on her head, discern she is a “bad nut” after all and unload her to the garbage chute. The Oompa-Loompas once again come on the stage and perform a song for the misfortunate of Veruca. They dance again in circle sequence around the hold of the garbage chute in harmonized rhythm. The lyrics remind Mr. Salt that his daughter’s ill-personality is indeed a result of his action by spoiling her and pandering to her every need. This number not only accentuate Veruca’s punishment but also emphasize who else held responsible – Mr. Salt, Veruca’s dad, who completely spoilt her by answering to all her wishes. Poor Veruca, in this case met her demise with garbage as her new found friends.
Who’s next? Meet Mike Teavee, representation a variety of wicked societal behaviours which we often heard everyday. He behaves as an incessant know-it-all who righteously rebukes others with angrily manner and being such a compulsive video game fanatic who completely misses out many other happiness of being a youngster. Wonka takes the rest of the group into a blindingly white room, the television room. Wonka excitedly explains that the room is for testing television chocolate, how it can transport chocolate to every home through television. After Wonka gives a cautionary note and does a demonstration, Mike bumptiously calls Wonka an idiot and jumps into the machine and had himself teleported inside the television. Mike is shrunken down into a pint sized terror because of his inability to listen. The number takes place while an Oompa-Loompas switching channels trying to find the shrunken Mike inside the TV. The number starting with rock music then as the channel switches to a Beatles knock-off and later more violent actions, serving as a symbolic background of how selected media are unsuitable for children. The lyrics of the song prompt society how children learns from responsive media and the consequences of excessive television and video games will rots their senses and alter children’s imaginations, creates people with one track minds and rather aggressive personalities.
The music numbers are a mixture of cultural cult and fad in different times. For example, “Augustus Gloop” number’s brassy music is like what we often hear from a Bollywood production piece; “Mike Teavee” is a mixture of hard rock and techno music to emphasize his crazy devotion for video games. These last four musical numbers are inserted between the light and dark moments of each turning scene during the tour. Every different room appears to be fascinating and out of the ordinary to the visitors, then soon an unpleasant child is eliminated with a darker undertone of a cautionary tale against a corrupted aspect of society, tackling a fundamental moral question. The first number was representing a Trojan horse to foreshadow importance of Wonka’s warning, which all of the above four children neglected. The chocolate factory is as wonderful as it may seems, but true intentions are hidden and those refused to listen are responsible for their hideous vice.
There are several scores placed in the film. Each has a different rhythm and beat to introduce the motives and themes in the scene. For example, the score played during the chocolate river cruise carries a dramatic sense of unpredictable excitement, the feeling of tossing on top of the beat and it gets stronger when the speed of the boat increases. Another example would be the score inserted during Wonk’s flashback of his visit to Loompaland, where the music is replete with chanting of tribal beats, which fully characterized the adventurous island. In contrast, a softer kind of music was played at the end of the story, where the theme is more complacent. Interestingly, a score is accompanied with the end credits of the film, which is the combination of the numbers but in music-only versions. This serves like a recollection of the five major moral lessons carried out in the whole film.
Who’s left? Charlie Bucket & Willy Wonka
Charlie Bucket, one of the protagonists of the story, has a warm and caring family. They are not wealthy but the family get along very well and share a strong bond of love. Charlie is a role model of a loving, caring and obedient child. The other protagonist Willy Wonka, on the other hand, is a sarcastically isolated factory owner who is estranged from his father. His chocolate factory can be seen as a reflection of his mind; it is fascinating and full of imagination but filled with perilous tricks. Charlie’s respectable character is in contrast to the other children in the film, it is also the grounds for making him the victor. In the film, he refuses to leave his family behind for the reward of contest. Wonka was question because he does not understand the value of a family. Charlie then helps Wonka reconciled the relationship of Wonka and his father, and at the end, Wonka and the Buckets live happily together inside the chocolate factory. The movie brings out significance of good behaviour and urges us to understand the importance of having a loving family.
At the ending of the film, it reveals the narrator is actually an Oompa-Loompas. He spoke in the beginning of the film and at the closing of the story. This is an example of circularity. This film and the story itself, is stunningly educational. The combination of the plot, setting and music create a mood, convey emotions and communicate not only on a level of pure entertainment, but in depth of imagery with the use of undertones so specific, yet leaves room for audience to travels beyond imaginations.
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