Friday, July 08, 2005

Finding Neverland in all the wrong places

Watching the trailer for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is unsettling not because it features greed, gluttony, oppression of oompa-loompas and other sins – all prominent elements of the book - but because Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka so plainly evokes Michael Jackson. It’s been remarked upon in the media, and Depp & Co. have denied MJ was an influence. But the velvet suits, gender ambiguity, delicate physique, the prettily angled planes of the face (though Depp’s face is smooth and perfect – the face Michael’s been aiming for all along, only to butt up against the limits of technology and crumbling cartilage!) will all stir up unsettling associations for anyone over eight. What were they thinking?