Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

I have seen this film many times and always loved it, though not nearly as much as the book. There really isnt much I didnt like about the film, but definately elements to talk about. What I’ve always liked about the film is how it made nearly everyone look so completely mad over the “Golden Tickets”. Man, woman and child were frantic over the prospect of “winning” a “lifetime supply of chocolate”. I keep using quotes because I found it all to be very metaphoric for some general shared dream of mankind. The excitement and hope some people feel when the lottery reaches 20 million dollars, the common dream of being famous or on TV and the prospect of being rich or worryless in general. The people that searched endlessly for this ticket were on the look for an easy door to sucess and happiness, even if it was represented by only chocolate, the metaphore was clear to me. Most were greedy, malicious and caniving people who never got enough of anything. Sadly a “lifetime supply of chocolate” would not be enough for them either. This is not to say that all people who desire fame and riches are horrible, not all, but it was clear what Willy Wonka thought of them. Charlie was an exception to this rule. He too desired something grand but unlike the others who came from lives where they got everything they ever wanted and more, he knew the real value of the “prize”. The comedy associated with this aspect of the film was great. I especially liked the random clip of a TV soap opera that used the Wonka phenomoenon in their plot, when the woman needed time to decide over her husbands life or her case of Wonka bars. This greatly mocked peoples’ sometimes backwards priorities, especially associated with material posessions or topics like fame and fortune. I thought that between the this comedic portrayal of the greedy, Wonka’s loathing for the people who expressed greed and of course the lovely greed songs by the Oompa Loompas (humble political refugee slaves), this film touched on a common social subject common, and harshly. Luckily for them most people probably didnt notice they were being offended by the film, rather than only entertained. Great film, read the book!

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