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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) on IMDb

Plot Overview

family dinnerOver a cozy family dinner of cabbage and borscht, Grandpa Joe (David Kelly) recounts the history of eccentric Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp)'s chocolate factory where he used to work. Wonka started with a single store on Cherry St. twenty years ago. Five years later he opened a proper chocolate factory. It did so well that Prince Pondi­cherry com­mis­sioned him to build him a palace made out of chocolate in India—Frosty the Snow­man would tell you that's a bad idea except he melted away.

Back home Wonka had other problems, problems with personnel. Traitors kept pilfering his trade secrets to sell to the competition forcing him to finally close his plant. Lately, though, smoke has been seen rising from the stacks, and delivery trucks exiting the docks, but no workers are coming into the plant or going out. It's on Joe's bucket list to visit it one last time.

candy canesJoe's grandson Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) manages to win one of five golden tickets entitling him to a plant tour. He may bring with him one adult to look over him. He takes Grandpa Joe. The movie recounts the tour and its aftermath.


I'm writing from the perspective of having worked in a food processing plant 11+ seasons, here paying particular attention to the personnel situation. The owner/manager Wonka was a white male, which is neither here nor there except Charlie's father also worked in a (toothpaste) factory with a white male manager … for what it's worth.

When Willy Wonka started to feel his age, he found he had no heirs to leave his business to, so he devised an alternate scheme. He secreted five “golden tickets” in randomly selected candy bars that got distributed world­wide. The lucky winners would substitute for the winners of the genetic lottery, so to speak. He'd lead them on a plant tour to test their mettle, and “the one who was the least rotten would be the winner” to be further groomed to take over the plant. With me so far?

Although the five ticket winners were from candy bars spread out all over the world to every kind of people, the ones who scored were all white boys & girls. This we call ‘white privilege.’ And the first winner was from Germany though his was not the ideal Aryan physique—he ate too much candy. In the movie the white privilege derives from the parents having beaucoup dough to spend on candy, the drive of some people, self confidence, education, and the money flow on the streets where they lived. Oh, well. For racial balance the lucky owner of the candy store that sold the last golden ticket chocolate bar was black.

business ladyWorking in administration is a white woman named Doris.

Virtually all the work done on the plant floor is unionized, from the galley slaves to the in-house shrink. The chief of the Oompa Loompas (Deep Roy) from the jungles of Loompa­land did collective bargaining on the Loompas' behalf to pay them in cocoa beans. Their greatest treasure is the cocoa bean, and in their country a good crop is three–four beans a year. I'm sure they got a square deal like when Manhattan was bought from the Indians for a handful of beads. At any rate they're happy and they're good workers, if a tad mischievous.

Welcome to America
Now Speak EnglishTheir immigration status is unclear. They live in the plant as in some kind of a sanctuary building, but they honor their adopted country enough to have learned to speak English. It is unclear what race these dark-skinned people are of, but they're not white. They all look alike to the racists in the audience, who can't tell one from the other. And they are all male workers, as per the writings of Peter F. Drucker:

Throughout man's history, and above all, among primitive peoples, work groups have always been sexually differentiated. Men work together and women work together. But we rarely hear, either in history or in cultural anthro­pology, of work groups of mixed sex. Men hunt and women tend the village. Men build boats and women grow yams. In Europe women have tradition­ally milked cows, in America men; but on neither side of the Atlantic has milking been done by sexually mixed groups. (188)
The ascent of man

There is a lower tier of workers just in the nut­sorting room. Here they use trained squirrels instead of Oompa Loompas, “because only squirrels can get the whole walnut out almost every single time.” While the Oompa Loompas are real people, the squirrels are enigmatic. The Oompa Loompas just recently descended from the trees, but the squirrels still live in them.

Sorting out the bad nuts, human or vegetable, is here fairly straight­forward. (Sirach 3:10–11) “Glory not in the dishonour of thy father; for thy father's dishonour is no glory unto thee. For the glory of a man is from the honour of his father; and a mother in dishonour is a reproach to the children.” Willy has not been honoring his father very much at all. We get this in flash­back mostly, and it needs to get sorted out by the end of the movie.

(Sirach 7:27–28) “Honour thy father with thy whole heart, and forget not the sorrows of thy mother. Remember that thou wast begotten of them; and how canst thou recompense them the things that they have done for thee?” Charlie is a sweet boy who devotes much honor to his parents.

(Sirach 30:1–6) “He that loveth his son causeth him oft to feel the rod, that he may have joy of him in the end. He that chastiseth his son shall have joy in him, and shall rejoice of him among his acquaintance. He that teacheth his son grieveth the enemy: and before his friends he shall rejoice of him. Though his father die, yet he is as though he were not dead: for he hath left one behind him that is like himself. While he lived, he saw and rejoiced in him: and when he died, he was not sorrowful. He left behind him an avenger against his enemies, and one that shall requite kindness to his friends.” Misguided upbringing of children who are over­indulged is put on display here big time. Pay particular attention to the lyrics of the songs.

Production Values

” (2005) was directed by Tim Burton. Its screen­play was written by John August based on a book by Roald Dahl. It stars Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, and David Kelly. Depp gave his usual con­sum­mate performance. Highmore was good as young Charlie Bucket.

MPAA rated it PG for quirky situations, action and mild language. The script was rather good. The special effects were awesome, seamlessly combining various modes. The squirrels were cute, though I'm personally more used to them as pests. The music score by Danny Elfman would be worthy of a Disney flick. The sets were impressive, the costumes odd enough for a hallucination, and the make­up looked like it came directly from California.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

I expected it to be too childish for my tastes but found it very appealing. I definitely recommend it for light entertainment.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability for children: Suitable for children with guidance. Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Suitable for family viewing.. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611. Rev. 1769. Software.

Drucker, Peter F. Management London: Heinemann, 1974. Print.