Wonka: Movie Review

Wonka Movie Review: World of  Pure Imagination 

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We are huge fans of the 1971 classic, "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory." It holds a special place in our hearts as one of those childhood films we've cherished throughout the years. Therefore, discovering news of a new Wonka film being made, particularly one delving into the origin story of the quirky character, stirred mixed emotions. On one hand, the cast and director instilled confidence that the film would be in capable hands. On the other hand, there's always a risk of falling short of expectations and becoming a solution in search of a problem to solve. Fortunately, it leaned towards the former, as "Wonka" managed to be its own imaginative entity while paying homage to its roots.         

After seven years navigating the seven seas, Willy Wonka (portrayed by Timothée Chalamet) resolves to fulfill his lifelong dream of opening a chocolate shop in the Galeries Gourmet in honor of his mother. Despite his undeniable talent as a chocolate-maker, Wonka struggles to find success, facing rivals  that are determined to maintain their stranglehold as the town's powerful chocolate cartel.

Timothée Chalamet, with his talent, once again captivated us in his portrayal of a younger Willy Wonka, a character who, in this rendition, is still young, hopeful, and naive to the world's dark realities. The dumb-wittedness and pure positivity he brings add a layer of emotion and an unexpected connection to one's inner child that caught us off guard. The film delivers a dramatic punch with its best scenes, though the first half presents a rough start. The second half, however, is where the film truly shines with scene after scene that could easily make anyone shed a tear. Being a musical, the soundtrack stands out as one of its strongest points, featuring new catchy songs that are able to constantly provide a delightful experience accompanied by great performances. However, if we were to nitpick, we felt that the film lacked some depth. While the focus on the friendship between Wonka and Noodle (portrayed by Calah Lane) is understandable, it meant that many supporting characters didn't receive enough screen time to fully develop their roles. Some of these characters felt inconsequential to the grand narrative. Despite these setbacks, the film remains a holiday treat, offering a crazy and wild imaginative ride with a significant amount of heart, sweetness, and soul.

Rating: 4 reels

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