Sunday, November 27, 2011

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Inception

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a classic children's movie about a little boy named Charlie who wins a trip to the Wonka Chocolate Factory and eventually is made an heir to the factory after the other children proved too weak, manipulative, or insubordinate to be deemed worthy of being responsible for the Wonka legacy. The original children's tale by Roald Dahl teaches children that fantastic things can happen against all odds, and encourages them to believe in the whimsical.

But consider this.

From another viewpoint, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is an allegorical retelling of another classic tale by famed children's author Christopher Nolan called "Inception." Here is the basic plot summary:

Grandpa Joe is living in poverty in England. His family is gravely ill and he must find a way to ensure that they are provided for after he is gone. Grandpa Joe has a complex and troubled past as a dream extractor. , and has been laying low under cover of being bedridden for many years, but he knows it is time. He decides that he needs to see that his family has a steady income after he is gone. He is going to find a way to make his grandson Charlie the heir to the Wonka chocolate factory. This is not going to be an easy task, as Wonka is a very private man and not one for personal relationships, so no ordinary team will do. To do this, he needs a crew of special extractors for his plan, and as the most skilled extractor that ever lived, he knows that he must use inception to plant the idea in Willy Wonka's subconcious mind that Charlie is worthy of being his heir.

Grandpa Joe has Willy Wonka kidnapped by a chemist named Slugworth and is put under to begin the dream extraction with Grandpa Joe and his team. He has recruited his grandson Charlie, a child prodigy who has proven a skilled architect despite his young age, to create a fantastic dream world chocolate factory, which is primarily used to distract Wonka while Grandpa Joe and his team work on their inception. The ruse used to convince Wonka that the people in his factory are welcome guests is a Golden Ticket contest. Wonka has no memory of getting to the inside of the factory, and his memories of arriving do not seem to make sense as they include going through a door that is too small and playing a password on a piano. They arrive in the grand hallway, a fantastic open atrium of edible goods created in the young mind of Charlie the child prodigy architect.

Their first team member, Augustus, distracts Wonka by falling into a chocolate river and leading scores of Charlie's now-very-suspicious projections ("oompa-loompas") away from the extraction team. He drowns in the chocolate river and wakes up to help the chemist control the sleeping Wonka and crew. As Augustus and the chemist take over, they create a mind-bending boat ride to distract Wonka and the projections from their suspicions, taking them down one level further in the dream world in order to complete the inception. Wonka then begins taking Grandpa Joe and his team through the factory, which is made up of various devices and machines that seem to make no sense, the fantastical projections of Charlie's imagination of what a chocolate factory might look like on the inside. Grandpa Joe and his architect Charlie, however, have devised a plan. Each member of the team (Mike the Cowboy, Veruca the English Spy, Violet the Shapeshifter, Augustus the Forger), gets systematically "picked off" by oompa loompas in order to converge in the third level of the dream, Wonka's office, where they will plant the idea to be incepted.

As they go deeper and deeper into the factory, the oompa loompa projections in Charlie's mind appear more numerous and continue to grow suspicious of the ever-dwindling population of guests roaming the halls of the chocolate factory. Realizing this, Grandpa Joe sets his final plan to finish the inception into action. Knowing Wonka to be a man of stern adherence to safety and sanitation rules, he and Charlie use this personality trait to their advantage, and commit a blatant rule violation in front of Wonka in order to gain a private audience with him. During this time, however, the team of forgers have broken into Wonka's office and changed the wording on the contract to suggest that Charlie is the new heir to the factory. Grandpa Joe's drinking of the fizzy lifting drinks was the 3rd level dream world, bringing Grandpa Joe and Charlie close to the inner sanctum of Wonka's mind, his "office." When Wonka confronts Grandpa Joe and Charlie about their rule violation, he screams at them as he reads the contract. Little does he know that the contract has been altered and that he's now reading his own words telling him that Charlie is the one.
Incepted. *Wink*

In an act of ultimate defiance, Charlie sets his totem, a small replica of an Everlasting Gobstopper, on Wonka's desk, showing Wonka that he has "given up" the dream of the chocolate factory. Of course, this has been the plan all along, and Wonka tells Charlie that he is going to be the next heir, having just read his own words on the contract only moments before. Having gotten what he needed, Grandpa Joe has Charlie create a Glass Elevator that can raise them high above the city as music plays, making it convenient for the kick once all the matters in the real world have been taken care of. The credits roll as the music begins to build and Grandpa Joe and Charlie prepare for the kick to wake up in the present.