What is very possibly the best Roald Dahl book of all time has been transformed into a rather good movie. For the most part the Dahl adaptations: James and The Giant Peach, Matilda, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the film is called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) are rather good anyways on film although most of them lack the bitting (and often satirical) wit of Roald Dahl's books. The Witches really came through with Angelica Huston's character, the Grand High Witch. Her entire performance is so over the top and wonderful, it is almost as if Dahl had written her character's performance into the script. Anyways, that being said, there are some rather silly touches in the film that do not quite fit in. The first being that the ending is completely different, although i agree with another user in that the ending of the book would not adapt well to the screen and wouldn't appeal to Hollywood audiences. The other problems I have are minor, the character played by Jane Horrocks (of Absolutely Fabulous, Little Voice, and Chicken Run) wasn't in the story either, but her character is crucial to the ending so I'll let it slide. The other problem is that in the book Luke's parents die on the first page, on their way to his grandmother's house (did I mention that Luke has no name in the book?), in the film version his parents die after they get there, a minor point, but it isn't quite as empowering for the main character. And speaking of Luke...could the producers of this film found a more boring character? I understand that the book is rather introspective, most of the story is told through the characters retelling of the story, but in a movie format, it is difficult to sympathize with a character that barely says anything at all. Regardless of these slight problems I have with the transition from book to film, this movie is one of the best family movies ever made, right nearly as good as bedknobs and broomsticks, watcher in the woods, and labryinth. Better than it's more hollywoodized counterpart; hocus pocus. Please do your brain a favor though, read the book. The Witches is a wonderful, magical story filled with adventure and fun. One final note, to the user who condemned this film for advocating a stereotype, you are obviously not big into your wiccan history. The witches here are not wiccan witches, but demonic creatures from a different plane of existence. Think of them as the evil counterpart to your more familiar wiccan creatures: slyphs, gnomes, undies, salamanders, etc... A true wiccan would understand the difference, as would the thousands of people viewing this movie. I highly doubt your nose grows a full foot longer once you've removed your face, and I highly doubt any one else would think that too - This is the reason why wicca is called wicca nowadays and not Witchcraft, to separate the two practices - signed, an amateur wiccan theologist.
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