Wednesday, August 10, 2005

In defense of Depp

I read a review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the Philippine Star today. This is my mildly miffed reaction.

The Star writer criticized the movie for "bastardizing" Johnny Depp. Sheesh. Just because he doesn't look drop dead gorgeous, he's being "bastardized"?? That's what's so great about Depp, he refuses to be boxed in by the romantic hero stereotype, and I applaud him for taking on a wide variety of roles that shows his range as an actor (scissor-handed freak, sexy gypsy, scruffy pirate, sensitive playwright, strange recluse, etc.). A true actor will not let his ego or inhibitions get in the way of transforming into a character. If you call that "bastardizing" then I’m calling Depp one heckuva talented bastard.

The writer went on to compare Depp’s Willy Wonka to Michael Jackson (I already conceded to the Jacko resemblance in my previous post), and Gene Wilder’s Wonka in the first film adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Please. The “classic” movie isn’t the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Admittedly Depp’s Wonka was not an accurate representation of the hilarious character Roald Dahl created in his lovely book, but neither was Wilder’s Wonka a faithful portrait of the eccentric chocolatier. He shouldn’t be the standard against which Depp’s new Wonka is measured.

Oh, and the writer also said that the movie “screwed up” the Oompa-Loompas. Honey, the Oompa-Loompas are weird and sinister, any which way they’re portrayed. They’re seriously screwed up to begin with, so there’s really very little damage you can further inflict on them.


At Wednesday, August 10, 2005, Blogger Anica said...

I like talking about Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Haha. :) His flexibility is exactly why I look forward to watching his movies. I was actually surprised he could take on a comedic role in the Pirates of the Carribean, but he did, and he did it so nicely.

About the Gene Wilder Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it wasn't a good film. They portrayed Willy Wonka as an evil person and Charlie as a naughty and not so obedient kid. I did not enjoy the movie.

And the Oompa-Loompas, never liked them. :) They're annoying whenever they break into song.

At Wednesday, August 10, 2005, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

That’s why I loved the book so much. I could just read the smart, funny lyrics without having to listen to any annoying voices singing to some annoying tune. :p

At Friday, August 12, 2005, Anonymous mishy said...

Yeah, I read the same Phil Star article and medyo nainis din ako sa writer. I think Depp was given free rein on how he wanted Willy Wonka to look, and I read somewhere that he deliberately chose Michael Jackson's infamous ghostly complexion.

At Wednesday, September 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record, Johnny says he based the character's look on American Vogue editor Anna Wintour. The hair, the hats, the shades... :)

I love him. I even thought he looked drop-dead gorgeous in Pirates, missing teeth and all.


At Wednesday, September 28, 2005, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

At least we agree on Johnny Depp... :p


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