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Wonka Movie Review: Timothee Chalamet Is Perfectly Cast As Willy Wonka In This Fun, Enjoyable Movie –

Wonka Movie Review: I walked into the screening of Wonka with a bar of chocolate in my hand and out with a massive grin on my face that lasted for a good couple of hours. That’s how much I enjoyed the film. Timothée Chalamet is seen in the shoes and under the hat of Willy Wonka. He is the third Hollywood actor to be essaying the role and I must say, he charmingly pulls it off. The Paul King directorial has swiftly sneaked into my Christmas re-watches and I have no complaints.

Willy Wonka returns to the big screen after almost two decades. We met him for the first time in 1971 when Gene Wilder introduced everyone to the character via Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Decades later, in 2005, the magical Chocolatier returned in the form of Johnny Depp and through the film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. While the character’s name and his magical powers remain the same in Wonka, Paul King has taken a completely different approach with Wonka, exploring his life from being a boy with dreams to making dreamy chocolates.

The prequel approach works brilliantly for Wonka. Paul brings a refreshing story to the table that is unpredictable, gleeful, and larger than life. Paul keeps the story short and crisp. Given the various characters the film has and the potential backstories they come with, Paul chooses to focus on Wonka and his journey instead of unnecessarily indulging in each character’s past. The director, who has also co-written the screenplay with Simon Farnaby, has tactfully dealt with the supporting cast’s stories, giving enough toffee-size information required for the film and primarily keeps the spotlight on Wonka and his adventures with his friends.

This helps keep the pace going. The editing of the film, done by Mark Everson, is crisp and does not let the film’s spirits go down. With a tight one hour and 56 minutes, the film has no boring moment.

The credit for keeping the audience engaged also goes to the cinematography and visual effects. Cinematographer Chung Chung-hoon, who has worked his magic on movies and TV series like the South Korean film Oldboy, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and It (chapter 1), has presented a visual splendor with the help of the VFX team. Many scenes, including the ones in the Zoo, the chocolate rooms, and the chocolate selling scenes are life-like and leave you craving to visit them someday.

The cherry on the icing, in terms of the technical part of the film, is the perfect balance of music. Wonka feels like a musical but never adds an unnecessary note to the movie.

Coming to the performances, Timothée Chalamet is perfect as the chirpy, optimistic Wonka. He feels like the perfect delulu boy we need to make the holidays perfect. Calah Lane as Noodle, Jim Carter as Abacus Cruncher, Natasha Rothwell as Piper Benz, Rich Fulcher as Larry Chucklesworth, Rakhee Thakrar as Lottie Bell, and Tom Davis as Bleacher support Timothée Chalamet well with their endearing performances.

Mathew Baynton as Fickelgruber, Paterson Joseph as Arthur Slugworth, and Matt Lucas as Prodnose play the villains in Wonka’s life with absolute ease. Olivia Colman as Mrs. Scrubitt is a scene stealer with her clumsy villain. She cracks up the audience and how!

Keegan-Michael Key joins her in cracking up the audience with her performance as the chief of police. But my heart broke when Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Grant, the two performers I was looking forward to seeing in the movie, got limited screen time. Although they delivered memorable performances, I truly wish there were more of them.

Nevertheless, Wonka might be one of the most engaging movies of the year that stands a chance of becoming a holiday favourite. Interestingly, Wonka was originally set for a March 2023 release date. However, the nip in the air during its December release certainly works in setting the tone for Wonka.

Bottom Line: Wonka feels like a warm hug we didn’t know we needed. The film makes you want to curl up in a blanket, enjoy a hot chocolate and forget your worries, even if it is for two hours. If you’ve been a fan of the previous two films, I’d recommend that you go for Wonka with an open mind. I’m sure this will please your inner child.

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