Movie Recap: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Yes! In honour of the late great Gene Wilder, and the occasion this week of Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday — which by all accounts he didn’t enjoy much — and also, just cos, you know, I want to, it’s time to do a recap of the movie we all affectionately know as WWATCF, the movie we all remember from our childhoods and which is considered a classic even though it’s obviously far inferior to Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Yes it is.

Yes it IS.

You know it is, really.

Be honest.

Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

Lou’ook, WWATCF has Wilder, and he was phenomenal in it, but CATCF is way better as a complete movie. It’s got better songs, a better story, better Oompa Loompas, and child actors with talent. I mean Wilder’s performance is legendary for good reason, but he elevated an ordinary movie — surrounding him are nightmare goblin people, grating kids, horrible songs and Grandpa Fucking Joe. Oh yeah we’ll get to HIM in a moment.

You’ll keep, old man.

At the very least, whichever movie you find the more satisfying cinematic experience, what is beyond doubt is that Wilder’s Wonka hewed quite close to Dahl’s Wonka, but was placed in a story that diverged wildly from Dahl’s (which is probably why Dahl hated it). Depp’s Wonka — great, but not quite Wilder-level — is not Dahl’s Wonka at all, but he exists in Burton’s world, which is much more like Dahl’s world.

Anyway, enough preamble, let’s get on with the recap. Or what should be called a reaction-cap — we all KNOW Willy Wonka by now, I should think, so I won’t be telling you everything that happens. Think of this as a commentary track: you’re getting my thoughts as I watch.

Why should you be interested in my thoughts on Willy Wonka?

Because I’m a fucking genius, DUH!

I mean, bitch, please.

Let’s roll.

So interestingly, the opening credits roll over footage from what I assume is an actual chocolate factory — or at least a commercially friendly version of the actual chocolate-making process. That process, of course, being exactly what DOESN’T go on in Wonka’s factory. I mean this chocolate looks good, but they kind of kicked the movie off by showing us exactly how implausible all that waterfall crap is. I guess this is footage from Slugworth’s factory, a much more professional and hygienic operation that doesn’t use slave labour. Why is Slugworth the villain here?

Everything seems to be in order.

Wait, then we see all these rows of Wonka bars. So we WERE watching Wonka’s factory at work? But we KNOW that’s not how it works? Unless…hang on, is the Futurama episode “Fry and the Slurm Factory” closer to the truth than we thought? Is the tour the kids are given just window-dressing for the grim industrial reality beneath? Is there a giant worm squirting chocolate out of her anus somewhere in this factory? Worth investigating I think.

But anyway.

OK, so apparently the children of this town go to school in a medieval European church. Fair enough I guess. IMDB tells me that the movie was shot in Munich, which explains why Charlie’s American hometown looks like…well, Munich. You’d think they could go to a bit more effort to make it look less Munichy though. Wasn’t there an actual school in Munich in 1972 that didn’t look like a baroque cathedral? Even in the Seventies German kids can’t all have been getting educated in tourist traps.

Where did they put the tuckshop?

Anyway.

OK, so Bill’s Candy Shop. Bill is deeply problematic, and I thought this even before I started watching Family Guy, so it’s not just because he looks exactly like Glenn Quagmire. He’s just…I mean good god he’s creepy. There are SVU guest stars that look less likely to abduct a child than this guy. The horrible starey eyes, the threateningly pointy nose, the weird 1930s-style Brylcreemed hair…

Go on. Say his name three times. I dare you.

And when a guy looks as creepy as that, what is the creepiest possible action he could take? That’s right, spontaneously burst into song. A song about the magical things that will happen if you eat his candy.

OK, that’s probably the second-creepiest thing he could do. The creepiest thing he could do is open up his counter and usher all the children behind it and start handing out free sweets to them all. Imagine if your kid came home with a bag full of lollies and said they’d just been hanging out at with Bill, who sang to them and invited them into his restricted area. Even if you hadn’t seen Bill you’d find it weird. If you had seen Bill you’d organise a vigilante mob.

But what’s REALLY weird is that Charlie presses his face to the window and watches the kids prance around while Bill stares at them with undisguised hunger, and Charlie is all oh poor me I stand here in the street and cannot enter for I am poor. But the kids in the shop are getting all the candy for free. Clearly this is Bill’s big loss-leading promotional event, Free Candy Day. You can SEE them just running around behind the counter, Charlie, grabbing whatever they want. Go get yours, son! He doesn’t though, because he’s a moron with a martyr complex.

No wonder you’re poor.

Also, before the song, the little boy who looks like Liza Minnelli is at the front of the crowd and Bill says the new Wonka bar is the Scrumdiddlyumptious Bar, and the kid goes, “The Scrumdiddlyumptious Bar? How does he DO it?”

How does he do WHAT? You know nothing about this bar yet. It might taste like chalk. All you know is the name. Is that what you’re referring to? You’re asking, “How does Willy Wonka come up with weird non-marketable names for his products?” Because otherwise, I don’t see how just hearing the name could trigger such a moment of wonder, Boy-Liza.

Everything seems amazing when life is a cabaret

Anyway.

Even by 1971 standards, Charlie seems very poorly paid. “Payday” implies he gets paid at least weekly, and he gets, like, one coin. So, like, a dollar a week? Or a deutschmark?

The story I want to see is the story of the crazy tinker who hangs around outside Wonka’s factory reciting ominous poems at passing children. It’s the movie’s most pressing mystery: who the fuck is this guy and what is his endgame? If it weren’t for Bill he’d be the creepiest character in the film.

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM US?

Oh here we go. Fucking Grandpa Joe. Malingering shitheel. Lying there doing NOTHING while his daughter and grandson work themselves into an early grave to keep his worthless carcass breathing. And he’s got the nerve to bitch to Mrs Bucket about how CHARLIE WORKS TOO HARD. You concern-trolling fuck, Joe. Sponging off the little bastard and pretending you give a shit.

Get a job, motherfucker.

“When a loaf of bread looks like a banquet I’ve got no right buying tobacco.” This is totally correct and raises the question: why has he been buying tobacco until now? This family has clearly been in dire straits for a very long time — it’s an utter obscenity that he’s been puffing away on his pipe to this point. Although I understand why Mrs Bucket tries to get him to not give up — hastening these old arseholes’ deaths is really her only hope of salvation at this stage. She could just smother Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina, to be honest: nobody would be able to tell.

Do you even recognise these people?

Why does Charlie give him the money to buy tobacco with? He can’t get out of bed, why doesn’t Charlie just buy him the tobacco? It’s almost certainly because every night Grandpa Joe fucks off to drink and gamble and chase whores, and everyone knows it but never says anything.

David Battley as Mr Turkentine is a minor delight in this movie. I’d like to see many more scenes with Mr Turkentine. Charlie should’ve asked him to visit the factory with him instead of Grandpa Cuntchops.

There’s a universe somewhere where this guy got his own spin-off.

I like how Boy-Liza gets to pop up again to advance the plot.

Notice how in this movie’s universe everyone on earth is dangerously obsessed with chocolate, but there’s only one fat kid? Seems unlikely.

Heh. “He’ll sell a million bars.” Yeah I think he’d be hoping to sell a few more than that, Joe.

Dusselheim isn’t a real place, guys. Germany IS a real place, of course, but the Germany of the movie, where TV news shows are broadcast entirely in English? Not real.

Also the Gloops are pretty irresponsible parents.

So it’s not even just food they love, they’ll just eat random objects?

Nobody gives a fuck what part of the shitty scarf you did, Grandma Josephine. What country are you from, anyway?

Oh my god Grandpa Joe you are such a piece of shit. He actually tells Charlie he’s got more chance than anyone else of finding the Golden Ticket, “because you want it more”.

Joe, that is a LIE. You are LYING to a CHILD. I know the child is Charlie, so it’s natural to want him to suffer, but still. Jesus Christ. You KNOW he’s got far less chance than any other kid. I mean for all you know he’ll never even get another chocolate, but you’re like, “Never mind, you’ll get it”. Lying old prick.

Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt and Roy Kinnear as Henry Salt — a couple more delights. Veruca is the only child in the movie who doesn’t just make you want to shoot yourself in the jaw. The director should’ve got her to give the other kids acting lessons.

Watch and learn, Denise Nickerson.

But how dumb is the woman in the nut factory, handing over the golden ticket instead of just running home with it? They don’t deserve good working conditions if they’re that stupid. I’m glad they’re not unionised.

A better movie would be if Tim Brooke-Taylor’s computer actually did find the three remaining golden tickets, and he got to go to the factory. With Bill and Graeme.

However, isn’t it rather glossed over that this character has invented a working artifical intelligence, capable of reasoning and experiencing emotions? Burying the lede there — I mean I reckon his investors can probably expect a bigger reward than Wonka could give them.

Violet Beauregarde. Little shit. Worst kid in the movie except for Charlie. And if all she cares about is gum why does she even want to go to the factory? Wouldn’t a desire to visit the factory have to coincide with at least some vague liking for chocolate?

Ugh, here comes the worst scene. Well, maybe the worst scene. “Cheer Up Frigging Charlie”.

I guess Mrs Bucket works in a laundry or something? I mean her job appears to be making soup out of clothes, but I’m told that this is unlikely. I assume she works for a company that provides laundry services and maximises its profits by employing only one woman to work twenty hours a day, and by not purchasing any machines. Then again, maybe she’s a murderer and she’s washing the blood out of her victims’ clothes so she can sell them on. Anything’s possible, it’s a very odd, unexplained, depressing location.

I don’t think anyone even knows she’s there.

“I AM different. I want it more.” You arrogant little shit, Charlie. You WANT it more? You think you want a ticket more than ANY of the others? You think you’re the only poor person in the world? Nauseating solipsism.

See, Mrs Bucket is better than Joe because she at least gives him a bit of the old home truths by telling him that practically everyone on earth is going to miss out on a ticket and how about you suck it up, princess. But THEN she ruins that good work by going, “You’ll get your break”. How does she know? She never got HER break. She’s 45 years old and making clothes soup in the middle of the night. Her life experience is the perfect illustration of the fact that dreams do not come true.

And then it gets worse…so much worse. “Cheer Up Charlie”. I don’t know if there’s a worse song. When we used to watch this movie as kids we’d fast-forward through this bit. Eighty-eight percent of serial killers listened to this song minutes before the bloodlust first came upon them. Recordings of this song have been shown to cause shingles in mice. When you transcribe the melody as sheet music the notes on the page form the words “SATAN IS LORD”.

And Mrs Bucket is being such a bitch by singing it, too. Like, she has this song that — let’s give her the benefit of the doubt — she thinks might be handy for cheering her son up. So what does she do? She sings it to him after he is out of earshot. What is the fucking point of telling your kid to cheer up when he can’t hear you?

“I guess I can at least take comfort in the possibility someone might be singing about me somewhere.”

And don’t say, “You get blue, like everyone”: he doesn’t get blue “like everyone”: he gets blue because he’s starving to death and he lives in a house filled with the stench of his grandparents’ bodily waste (yeah. They haven’t got out of bed in 20 years. You know what that means).

Ugh. Can you IMAGINE?

And what’s this “Me and Grandpa Joe will make your troubles go away”. I mean for a start, why is Grandpa Joe the only one able to help with this? He’s as crippled as the rest. How big a slap in the face is it that she totally erases 75% of Charlie’s grandparents as functionally useless for the purposes of improving his life? Maybe George and Georgina would have some useful suggestions if anyone would let them get a fucking word in. They might have a great idea for a start-up, who would know?

But ALSO, how are they going to make his troubles go away? She works day and night at the Heinz Shirt Kitchen, and he’s confined to bed (allegedly). What are they going to do? And more importantly, why haven’t they already done it? If you can make your kid’s troubles go away, how about you, you know, make his troubles go away? Of course you can’t — the whole family’s starving to death. And that is pretty much what his troubles are: the whole starvation thing. Give him some freaking food, woman, that might be a start to making his troubles go away.

“What happened to that smile I used to know?” It’s called malnutrition, dickhead.

Pictured: “that smile you used to know”

“Just be glad you’re you”. HOW CAN HE POSSIBLY BE GLAD ABOUT THIS? Being him is the whole PROBLEM here: being Charlie Bucket is what is fucking his life up. “Just be glad you’re you” means being glad you’re a dirt-poor sissy with no friends who apparently has to work till after dark so he can afford bread and cigarettes for his filthy bed-ridden grandfather.

A song is not going to cheer up a kid in this situation. And again: it is even less likely to cheer him up IF HE CAN’T FUCKING HEAR IT.

Mike Teavee: another kid who gets a Golden Ticket despite not having any particular liking for chocolate or interest in Wonka.

Actually, isn’t it weird that everyone who find a ticket is a child? We’re given to believe that everyone of every age is frantically chasing the tickets, and adults have much more disposable income: you’d think a couple of the winners would be grown-ups. I guess an adult did find Veruca’s ticket but was too stupid to keep it. Who knows, maybe that happened to all of them. After all, Charlie’s ticket was in Bill’s Candy Shop the whole time and Bill was too dumb to think of checking every bar for golden tickets before he sold them. As was, apparently, every candy shop owner on earth.

Anyway.

“I bet the gold makes the chocolate taste terrible.” Charlie, it’s just you and your disgusting grandpa here. You don’t have to bullshit right now.

SURELY the Queen can get a tour of the factory if she wants to anyway? Or at least not have to show up at an auction in person: you can bid by telephone you know.

How tense is the Fergusons’ marriage going to be, when Mr Ferguson escapes the kidnappers and finds out his wife wouldn’t pay the ransom because she wanted to keep the Wonka bars.

But if Mrs Ferguson is so intent on getting the ticket, why is her case of Wonka bars still unopened? She just leaves it sitting around for weeks? None of this is adding up.

Apparently news programs in Paraguay broadcast in English too.

Incidentally, the picture the newsreader holds up of the Paraguayan ticket finder is of Martin Bormann. What a great movie it would be if Martin Bormann found a ticket and got to visit the factory.

“Come with me, and you’ll be, in a world of pure imagination…”

“A lot of rubbish”. I’m with you, Josephine.

Hey, who pays for Josephine’s yarn?

“A boy’s got to have something to hope for.” Jesus Christ, get him to take up music or football or something: you can’t give him anything a bit more realistic to hope for than a Golden Ticket? That line in Mrs Bucket’s song is seeming even more ridiculous: Grandpa Joe is actually way below average at even helping a kid think his troubles MIGHT go away.

David Battley again. Classic.

Look, it can’t be THAT unrealistic for a kid to not care for chocolate. Even in this weird chocolate-obsessed parallel universe, there must be SOME people who don’t like it. Some who are even allergic to it, maybe? I mean come on, is literally everyone in the world focused on this contest? Productivity must have plummeted.

Notice Charlie makes no attempt to locate the rightful owner of the money he finds. Revealing.

Oh I see Bill: when the rich kids come to your store, everyone gets all the free candy they can grab, but when the poorest boy in town shows up, suddenly you’re clearing your throat in a significant manner and holding your hand out. What a bastard.

You sadistic bastard.

Or maybe he just doesn’t find Charlie attractive.

A Slugworth Sizzler? Why even sell those? Everyone seems to have accepted that Wonka bars taste better than all others. Slugworth is the Slytherin of the Wonkaverse. And if your name was Slugworth, would you name your chocolates after yourself?

I bet this movie inspired a lot of anti-Paraguayan sentiment among the public. This is where our stereotype of the dishonest Paraguayan comes from.

OMG he found the last golden ticket!

Saw it coming, to be honest.

This movie takes a seriously long time to get to the point. Feels like hours before he finds the damn thing.

If the kids were smart (ha!) they’d find it weird that Slugworth is going around meeting them all personally. He has no PA?

And how did Slugworth know Charlie would run down that alley at that moment? How long has he been standing there? This whole thing is rigged.

I don’t know how much money he’s offering Charlie. “Ten thousand of these” — ten thousand notes, or ten thousand of these wads of notes? It doesn’t look like real money anyway.

What we can say for sure is that the only responsible thing for Charlie to do is accept Slugworth’s offer. Turning him down would be a horrific thing to do to his family.

“So, apparently we’ll never go hungry again. I’m thinking of turning it down. What do you think?”

I hate how Charlie just comes right out and says he wants Grandpa Joe to come with him. Not his mother, who feeds and clothes him and works day and night to take care of him and all the revolting olds. Not the woman who has given up any hope of her own happiness for his sake. Nope, he doesn’t even pretend that she might be his first choice. “Grandpa, I wish you could come”, with her standing right there. She should slap his awful little face, grab the ticket and march straight out.

And when the devious old fucker GETS OUT OF BED…after TWENTY FUCKING YEARS…just coincidentally feeling all energetic THE VERY MINUTE THERE’S SOMETHING TO BE GAINED FOR HIMSELF…

Oh my god if you were Mrs Bucket would you not just grab your clothes-stirring paddle and beat him to death with it?

And now it comes. “I’ve Got A Golden Ticket”. Not quite as bad as “Cheer Up Charlie”, but pretty ghastly.

Firstly, “I never thought my life would be/Anything but catastrophe”. Another face for Mrs Bucket to slap — having children and grandchildren, that’s not something? Josephine should slap him too: apparently being married to her is nothing but catastrophe, and literally nothing has made him happy ever in his entire life except being able to go to a chocolate factory.

And then, “I’ve got a golden ticket”? You fucking do NOT, you pestilent reprobate. CHARLIE has a golden ticket. Ironic, isn’t it, that he fought so hard to stop that mob in the street grabbing his ticket, yet he gets home and his own grandfather snatches it from him.

“It’s ours, Charlie!” Hey! Dickhead! It is NOT.

And, “I had said, it couldn’t be done. But it can be done!” Of course it can be done: by someone else. YOU did jack shit. I mean Charlie didn’t do much either, but he did SOMEthing. Grandpa Joe is a pure parasite.

In the book, by the way, Charlie has a dad, who says it’d be best for Grandpa Joe to go rather than himself. In this movie, nobody ever even asks Mrs Bucket if she wants to go.

“No, it’s fine. I have some pants to stew that day anyway.”

Even the band playing outside the factory is playing German music. It’s pretty clear that this movie is supposed to be set in America, why did they play up the German setting so much? Weird.

Ah…FINALLY

So, from IMDB, the famous story of Gene Wilder’s entrance:

After reading the script, Gene Wilder said he would take the role of Willy Wonka under one condition: that he would be allowed to limp, then suddenly somersault in the scene when he first meets the children. When the director asked why, Gene Wilder replied that having Wonka do this meant that “from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”

It’s pretty brilliant, although I’m not really sure how effective it is. Like, we all still think we know when he’s lying and when he’s telling the truth. Maybe we should be less certain. What if actually he’s lying when he says Charlie inherits the factory at the end? What if he’s taken Charlie and Joe up in the elevator to kill them? It’s possible, after all: we don’t know if he’s telling the truth. Gene said so. I like to think he butchers both of them and returns to the factory laughing at how well his plan went.

It’s a great entrance, anyway. It took way too long to get to the bit of the movie where Wonka appears, because let’s be honest: Gene Wilder IS this movie. And his entrance, whether it makes you doubt his honesty or not, signposts that OK, now something cool has begun, let’s forget the earlier unpleasantness.

Not that there isn’t more unpleasantness to come. I mean Charlie and Joe are still here.

Come on Charlie, why would Slugworth be standing right there where Wonka can see him. You gotta know something’s up here.

What‘s really great in this scene is how Wilder delivers his lines as Wonka meets the kids: so polite and complimentary, but making so clear how much he loathes these kids. Except Charlie for narrative reasons. And he seems to have a soft spot for Mike Teavee, which is fair enough: he’s just a kid who likes TV after all, he’s not a monster like the others. He’s definitely not as awful as Charlie.

I know it’s a weird-looking contract, but really, they must have expected to have to sign something, right? Of course you have to sign a release — this is standard. Salt and Beauregarde are businessmen, but they didn’t see this coming?

Another case of burying the lede with the automatic hand-grabber coathooks. What is this marvellous technology? Why hasn’t Wonka monetised it?

Pretty much everything from this point on in the factory is designed to give everyone the impression that Wonka is trying to kill them. Which he probably is. But I mean if you were one of these people, going through weird MC Escher rooms that change size and shape and direction…you’d assume, as Mr Salt says, “I doubt if any of us is getting out of here alive”. I mean evidence is that nobody will.

By the way, “Is this some kind of funhouse?” “Why, having fun?” is one of the great lines of movie history. Just beautiful.

That’s not Rachmaninoff you nutty woman! It’s Mozart!

Wonka could probably increase his profit margins had he not spent an insane amount of time and money building a gigantic room full of edible grass and trees and gigantic candy toadstools that nobody eats. Seriously, was this room made just for this day? If not, who was it built for? Do the Oompa Loompas eat all this stuff and have to restock the room constantly, making more and more candy canes and giant gummi bears and edible flower-teacups? Pretty inefficient, Wonka.

“Pure Imagination”, contrary to popular opinion, is a bad song. As with so much of the movie, Wilder sells it better than it deserves. It’s not a world of pure imagination, anyway: it’s just lollies. And “Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it” is a pretty high-falutin’ concept from a guy who has changed the world only by building a multi-billion-dollar empire of junk food.

It doesn’t look like chocolate in the river. Maybe water with chocolate in it. But chocolate shouldn’t be that runny.

Worst fondue ever.

“Jumping crocodiles”? Grandpa Joe you arse.

When my family watched this, my son found the word “whangdoodle” totally outrageous. He thought it was hilarious that they actually put such a clearly obscene word in a kids’ movie.

Actually the movie is a bit kinder to the Oompa Loompas — in the book it’s explicitly said that he pays them only in cacao beans.

Augustus suffers the effects of natural selection. Mind you, he’s already fallen in, there’s no harm in someone jumping in to save him now, surely. I mean, assuming that Wonka isn’t trying to murder him, which he is.

And given Wonka is trying to murder him, his casual attitude to Augustus is understandable, but I don’t understand why all the others are being so flippant. This kid is dying in front of your eyes, and all Grandpa Joe can do is use it to illustrate a lesson about ballistics.

And that is not how a bullet gets out of a gun, fuckstick.

Ugh, the Oompa Loompas come straight from your nightmares and sing the worst songs ever. In the Tim Burton movie, the Oompa Loompas look less terrifying, less like radiation victims. And they sing songs using Roald Dahl’s original lyrics, and with music by Danny Elfman. And they are SO much better than the creepy shit they sing in this one. These are Oompa Loompas as imagined by Stephen King.

I don’t know how any of us sleep at night.

The only place this movie uses actual Dahl lyrics is in the tunnel, with “there’s no earthly way of knowing” etc. This is also the only bit that’s deliberately terrifying, unlike the Oompa Loompas, Bill’s Candy Store, the idea of living with Grandpa Joe, and so on. All those are scary accidentally — the filmmakers didn’t mean them that way.

“I don’t like the looks of that tunnel up there!” Why not? You haven’t seen the horrible videos or anything yet. It’s just a tunnel.

“This is kind of strange.” “Yeah, strange Charlie, but it’s fun!” Oh GOD, Joe, we get it, you’re not like other old men — you’re sprightly and irreverent and a free spirit. Must you lay it on so goddamn thick?

Anyway though this is a great scene because Wonka isn’t even being subtle here: he is flat-out saying to his guests: you are in hell, and I am the devil, and today is the day you will all die hideous deaths at my hand. Look upon my nightmarish works, and despair! It is FANTASTIC. For all the movie’s flaws, kudos to the makers on having the balls to put in a scene of such unrestrained batshit freakery. And kudos to Wilder, as usual, for going full psychopath. If the entrance made us unsure if he was telling the truth, this is the bit that makes us absolutely sure that Wonka feeds on human terror.

He’s coming for you, children. When you close your eyes, he comes.

The inventing room shows that if Wonka is a successful businessman, it is only by accident. Exploding candy for your enemies? He’s planning to sell assault and battery to children. He’s also got a moonshine still going.

The worst is the Everlasting Gobstopper, though. Roald Dahl came up with the daft idea of the EG, but this movie came up with the even dafter idea that a business rival might be worried about it. The real Slugworth is probably popping the champagne about the Everlasting Gobstopper — it’s the worst business idea that was ever conceived. A candy that lasts forever? Right, because what better way for a candy company to make a fortune than by selling just one of its product to each customer.

Unless the Gobstopper isn’t even a real thing? It’s just made up for Wonka’s scam? But why wouldn’t he make something more convincing the centrepiece?

Like for example, have Fake Slugworth tell the kids about this three-course gum, which is a genuinely great idea. That’s the one that’ll revolutionise the industry, not the Gobstopper. Once they perfect the formula, of course.

“Why isn’t she listening to Mr Wonka?” “Because, Charlie, she’s a nitwit.” No, maybe it’s because Mr Wonka is clearly not making any serious effort to stop her, because he wants her dead, as he does all children. And I don’t see you two doing anything to stop her, wankers.

Ugh, another fucking creepy Loompa song. And they are way too harsh on gum chewing. It’s just gum, Oompa Loompas, lighten the fuck up. She’s not a blueberry because she chews gum all the time, she’s a blueberry because she doesn’t listen to authority figures. It’s not about “good manners”, it’s about the RULES. But we can’t have a song about following the rules, because it would give away the fact that what Charlie’s about to do is just as bad as what Violet did.

And honestly, would you have seen this coming?

In one of his books for adults, Roald Dahl uses “snozzberry” as a euphemism for penis. True.

OK, the notorious fizzy lifting drink scene.

Let us be clear: what Charlie does here is EVERY BIT as bad as anything any of the other kids do. Worse, maybe. I mean, Augustus didn’t even know he wasn’t allowed to drink the chocolate river before he started — after all he had been told everything in the room was edible. But Charlie was specifically instructed that the fizzy lifting drink was not for drinking, and he DOES IT ANYWAY. As soon as Wonka’s back is turned he’s guzzling it.

“Theft and drinking, Charlie: it’s how I’ve made my way through life.”

Of course, he is actually urged to do this by Grandpa Fucking Joe, the greedy, thieving, malingering, selfish, lazy, lying fuckface who ruins everything for everyone. This is, like, a bare minute after Charlie and Joe were acting all self-righteous about Violet not listening to Wonka. Hypocritical garbage people is what they are. They deserve to be turned into fruit and shot down trash chutes and shrunk and sent up tubes too.

This is actually where the Oompa Loompas should come in and sing a song as Charlie and Joe are sliced up by the fans. Like:

Oompa Loompa, Doompa dee do, I’ve got another puzzle for you

Oompa Loompa, Doompa da dee, if you are wise you’ll listen to me

What do you do when your kid likes to steal?

Thieving in a futile attempt to feel?

Should you just turn him over to the cops?

Or maybe pistol-whip him till he stops?

Oompa Loompa, doompa dee da, don’t listen to your grandpa and you will go far

You will live in happiness too, like the Oompa Loompa doompa dee do

(Two Oompa Loompas finish in a 69)

Mrs Bucket would be horrified if she knew that Grandpa Joe was encouraging her son to steal. I mean her family is starving, she could’ve turned to crime years ago with some justification, but she has principles. Not like this old twat.

Wait, so these are huge golden chocolate eggs that are shipped all over the world? So everyone is eating these things? Seems like that’d be the flagship of the Wonka company, not the Scrumdiddlyumptious nonsense. I mean Jesus, giant geese that lay eggs of gold AND chocolate? That’s almost as big as Tim Brooke-Taylor’s AI.

Julie Dawn Cole really shining here. It’s obvious why she’s the only kid who got her own song: she’s great.

Kid’s a pro, you know?

Once again, Grandpa Joe finds the death of a child gently amusing. Mrs Teavee seems a bit more concerned, but she still carries blissfully on with the tour.

Fucking Oompa Loompas. Who even asked them to sing? And if it’s “the mother and the father” who are to blame, why are we treating Veruca’s horrible fiery extermination as the righteous sword of justice? The Oompa Loompas should save her and just kill Henry. And then go to the Salt Factory and kill Henrietta.

This Wonka Wash bit is fairly pointless. But is another piece of earth-changing technology that nobody is even that impressed by.

The movie really fucks over the character of Mike Teavee in this next bit. In the book, Wonka gives the dumbass “millions of pieces flying through the air” explanation for how TV works, and Mike tries to correct him but is cut off. In the movie Mike is made the idiot by giving the stupid explanation himself. So unfair. Mike in the Burton film is much smarter and more sympathetic, although that does make it feel much more unfair when he is doomed just for having a healthy scientific curiosity.

I mean, how can you blame a kid for seeing an actual matter teleportation device, and wanting to try it out?

The Oompa Loompas could clearly have shut that machine off. They are complicit. They are murderers just like Wonka.

All these machines do is kill and sing and make little Oompa Loompas

This is a very traumatic moment for Mrs Teavee and nobody cares about her feelings at all. And she must know that Wonka’s solution is just his way of telling her he’s sending her son off to be killed.

But Mike feels fine. I kind of like how he deals with it all. Good attitude.

The worst thing about the Oompa Loompas’ Mike Teavee song — besides the fact that they suggest “simply reading a book” in a movie that has quite shamelessly torn the heart of a beloved children’s classic — is that they use “If you’re not greedy” for the second time. That’s bullshit, Loompas — “greedy” was Augustus. Watching too much TV isn’t “greedy” — Mike didn’t jump up into the Wonkavision out of greed, it was curiosity. If anything he’s the LEAST greedy of the children: he’s the only one — including Charlie — who doesn’t try to steal anything from the factory. And you only have four kids to sing a cautionary song about, you can’t even come up with a different adjective for each? Jesus Christ, guys.

Wonka says the other kids will be fine, but we know he might be lying.

YES! Wonka is RIGHT! They DID steal fizzy lifting drink! They DID bump into the ceiling! He is entirely within his rights to tell Charlie and his grandpa to fuck off and forget the chocolate. That is the correct response on Wonka’s part. Once again, Charlie’s behaviour has been at LEAST as bad as the other little shits. He deserves nothing. He SHOULD get nothing. The only really just outcome is that he gets nothing. Well, it would also have been just if they floated into the blades and were cut to pieces I guess.

And Grandpa Joe is all “You’re a crook…you’re an inhuman monster”. But he is only saying that out of guilt, because he knows it’s all his own fault. It was his idea to steal the fizzy lifting drink. It’s his fault Charlie’s lost everything and he knows it, and he’s screaming at Wonka to try to drown out his own guilt.

This. This should be the final shot of the movie.

And then Wonka goes back on it, which is deeply disappointing. But as we said earlier, he could be lying. So maybe his rant about how Charlie gets nothing was actually the truth. We can only hope.

The Wonkavator sucks compared to the Great Glass Elevator from the book. Very unimpressive.

I bet the Oompa Loompas resent Charlie forever and sabotage everything he does, because they’ve worked for Wonka for years and can’t believe one of them didn’t get to succeed him after all their loyal service.

Also, he tells Charlie he had to choose a child because a grown-up would want to do things their way, not his way. Way to ensure your business stagnates, Wonka — forbid fresh ideas.

Also also, Wonka does know that children…grow up, right?

OK, so he never met one that did…

Well, that’s it. What a great movie apart from all the bits where it isn’t. Happy trails!

If you like me when I recap a movie, you’ll love me when I recap a whole country! Error Australis on sale HERE.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.