Monday, March 15, 2010
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Anyway, this is probably on my list of five favorite movies of all time. It's Gene Wilder's loving/dangerous portrayal of Willy Wonka that makes it so perfect -- he's playing some kind of archetype I can't put my finger on, but that personality has been a guiding star for me my whole life. Johnny Depp totally missed it in the new movie. Gene Wilder chose (insisted, in fact) on introducing his character with his subtle cane/somersault move. Johnny Depp introduces his by callously, thoughtlessly, cruelly burning up It's a Small World. The meaningful message (Christian message, that is) of the first movie is completely absent in the second one.
There is something deep in Wilder's portayal -- something I still can't puzzle out. You know as I type this... I think I'm starting to get it... Christian message, indeed! It's so obvious! The factory tour begins with Eden, for goodness' sake! Commandments, warnings, punishment for sins, forgiveness, a chosen one without a father, and keys to the kingdom! He even led his chosen people out of the desert wastes! Why couldn't I see it before? Willy Wonka is God.