• Fri. Apr 12th, 2024
a picture of timothee chalamet smiling

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Paul King makes films for people with a childlike wonder, those youthful minds who still dare to dream. Willy Wonka’s origin story is one of the best ideas for a children’s film that I have seen in a while, seeing how a whimsical beloved character came to be. With a brilliant cast and a wild imagination King brings out the inner child in all of us.

Watching Wonka in the cinema was such a fun experience. My mother and I were in the cinema with a mother and her sons, an old man, and two girls. While watching this film all I could think about was how much fun they must have had while making it. 

The film follows a young Wonka and his journey to becoming the Willy Wonka we see played by Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp. King presents Wonka as an overly ambitious, talented chocolate maker who deeply misses his mother. Due to his lack of literacy, he fails to understand the small print of a contract he signs when renting a room from Mrs. Scrubbit (Olivia Coleman) and is forced to work for her amongst other who did the same thing. Wonka must escape Scrubbit’s imprisonment to fulfil his dream of sharing his chocolate with the world.

One of the best performances in the film comes from Tom Davis, who plays Bleacher, an accomplice to Mrs. Scrubbit, who finds the poor souls who they can trick into signing the contract. He delivers a hilarious performance of a man in love with Scrubbit, manipulated by Wonka to bear his knees to make Scrubbit fall in love with him. Wonka tells Bleacher how “She’ll be thankful for an ankle. She’ll be pleased to see your knees. But if you want to make her sigh, show some thigh!” This brilliant rhyme results in Davis wearing very short lederhosens, feeling very flirty and catching the eyes of Scrubbit (who in fairness does think he’s a wealthy aristocrat at that moment in time). They might be the most easily manipulated characters… yet Davis’ performance is sensational and hold a great bearing over the film.

I don’t think there could have been a better casting for a young Wonka, with his youthful elegance and eccentric quirky nature, Timothée Chalamet falls into the role of Willy Wonka perfectly. We all knew he could sing from those SNL sketches, but I had no idea that he would be a contender for my Spotify Wrapped 2024. Chalamet has a fabulous filmography ticking the boxes of many genres and film categories making film fanatics very excited to see where his career will go to next (hopefully not any more Johnny Depp roles though). 

One of the best scenes in the film, other than Bleacher seducing Scrubbit, has to be when Wonka gives the security guard at the zoo a ‘big night out’ chocolate. We see him go through all the stages of the drinking on a ‘big night out’, and he ends up making a phone call that amusingly yet heartwarmingly ties in to one of the final scenes. Sweet, clever and undeniably hilarious.

King’s movies often bring in so many people from British television, and it’s so fun seeing so many familiar faces on the big screen. Matthew Baynton is a much beloved actor in British TV, and he never fails to make me smile, whatever he is in. The film also paves the way for up-and-coming actor Calah Lane who play Noodle. She does a great job tying in a lot of the emotional aspects of the film and being a sidekick to Wonka. I’m very intrigue to see the next steps in her acting career.

I don’t see any reason that this film can’t be enjoyed simply for what it is: fun, whacky, and filled to the brim with chocolate.

티모시 샬라메 (Timothee Chalamet) ‘더 킹 헨리 5세’ 02” by Nine Stars is licensed under CC BY 3.0.