Comic legend Gene Wilder was the first to breathe life to Willy Wonka (which permanently etched the film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in my childhood memory). Then Johhny Depp gave the role his signature eccentric portrayal. Now heartthrob (of Dune fame) Timothee Chalamet gives it a go — and his performance was just lit!
From Paul King , writer/director of “Paddington” and Luke Kelly , the producer of “Matilda the Musical“, comes an intoxicating mix of magic, music and mayhem all told with a big heart. Based on the iconic character created by Roald Dahl in his children’s storybook Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this prequel puts on screen the wondrous narrative of how a chocolate maker manages to bring joy and positivity to everyone he meets AND how his chocolates changes them for the good, one delectable bite at a time.
Chalamet’s performance is filled wit innocence, purity, and youth. His opening song on board a boat bodes of good things to come (and they do!) but he is confronted by a myriad of problems the minute he reaches land. From a greedy city, corrupt policemen, a trio of scheming chocolate company owners to scrupulous innkeepers, and their cohorts –Wonka faces them all without losing sight of his dreams. And always, always, holding on to his mother’s promise that she will be with him whenever he is able to share the joy of sharing the best chocolates to the people.
Stellar performances are also given by the supporting cast. Hugh Grant is hysterical as the orange man and his lackadaisical humor is addictive. Viewers are left wanting for more oompa loompa action every time “Shorty” goes on screen. Olivia Colman (as the conniving innkeeper) and Tom Davis (her henchman) are hateful as the dastardly duo who has made a living from taking advantage of the needy. Perfect villains indeed! The chief of police, played by Keegan Michael Key, provides laughs here and there as his fondness for chocolate becomes larger and larger. The same goes for Rowan Atkinson as the wayward priest. Along with 500 singing and chocolate loving monks, the misadventures soon become sticky and aplenty.
The magic chocolates also deliver their fair share of awesome. Imagine being able to fly, grow multicolored hair, and remember old flames –with just a bite can make you do all those!
Wonka is a highly enjoyable movie that the whole family will relish! In the end, it’s essentially a movie about HOPE and its power to change the world.
Catch it on cinemas December 6!
With a pocketful of glitter,