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“Wonka” takes a dip into the original film

Evie Wada

Walking into the theater to watch “Wonka,” I had very high expectations. Between the lead role being played by a favorite of mine, Timothée Chalamet, and the premise of the movie being an origin story for the classic movie, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, I was definitely intrigued 

“Wonka” is a story about a young boy who has nothing but a dream when he arrives in the city with the best chocolate in the world. People immediately love his chocolates, but he is shot down by the other chocolatiers of the city and swindled into spending his days washing laundry. But he never loses sight of his dreams and amasses a great group of friends along his journey to sell chocolates.

The fantasy world in which “Wonka” is set in was beautifully captured. When I think of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory, I imagine cotton candy clouds, magic chocolate creations and chocolate trees. The crazy candies that Willy conjured up were so fun, and the shop he created was completely decked out in all things chocolate, and was so detailed. The set design really added to the overall experience of the movie because of its intricacy. This movie brought the wonders of the classic chocolate factory to life. 

Chalamet also brought this movie to life with his spot-on portrayal of the whimsical Willy Wonka. Wonka goes through many ups and downs in this movie and Chalamet gives the character depth. He made Wonka seem almost animated with such a childish joy about him. However, Chalamet played a character different from his typical ones, which was a little bit of a let down, especially if you’re a fan of his other movies where he plays characters much different than Willy Wonka. I think I prefer his other, more troubled, complex characters where his acting skills shine through in more challenging roles.

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“Wonka” also had many other talented actors, such as Hugh Grant, who plays an Oompa Loompa who needs to get his revenge on Wonka, and Rowan Atkinson, a chocoholic priest. This movie had great writing, and was witty, funny and sentimental all at the same time. Although this is true, Wonka wasn’t all laughs and smiles. It had a real message about working to attain our dreams and the importance of community and friendships. The theme of the movie was surface level, but it didn’t necessarily need to be anything more than that because of the overall simplicity of the plot.

Walking out of the theater, I was not only internally smiling from the sweet message, but I was also singing to myself the songs from the movie. The songs were catchy and light hearted, but also played a significant role in the plot. It was interesting to see Chalamet singing though, as it was very different from his usual roles allowing you to see his inner theater kid shining through. The lyrics were purposefully funny, and seemed to fit with the overall mood of the movie. I’m not a huge fan of musicals and could have done without the songs; I think the plot would have advanced just the same. The songs definitely made the movie seem more childish, but were not out of place among the songless scenes.

Overall, I thought “Wonka” was a light hearted movie that keeps you entertained, but is more targeted towards a younger audience.I wouldn’t really recommend to watch it if you weren’t a fan of the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” or if you don’t like more childish, magical movies. I was never bored, but I wasn’t super engaged throughout the whole movie, but again, I’m not really the target audience. It was a well written movie with a good cast, and it is worth giving a watch.

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About the Contributor
Evie Wada, Media Team
Evie Wada is a staff artist for the Stargazer. She is a Freshman and this is her first year on staff.

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