By Liv Dunleavy
“Quiet up, and listen down,” a new chocolate maker has arrived in town.
The newest rendition of the classic tale “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has stolen all of our hearts with its whimsical storyline and catchy, musical-style songs.
With an entirely new take on the story, this film adaptation tells the origin of Willy Wonka himself, his upbringing, and eventually, his dream turned into reality. Wonka was played by Timothée Chalamet, who received some mixed opinions from fans upon release.
I love the direction they took with Timothée’s Wonka. His character is dashingly charming and playful. I might go as far as saying - and consequently upsetting the whole world by doing so - he was the perfect actor to play young Wonka. He embodies this essence of childish wonder and mischievousness that makes me so drawn to him.
This young Wonka arrives in Europe after years spent perfecting his craft upon the seven seas. He steps off that boat with a dream to open a chocolate shop alongside the three gourmet chocolatiers - Slugworth, Prodnose, and Fickelgruber - and instead finds himself stuck in a contract with a dry cleaning shop after being misled and lied to by the sneaky owners.
Turns out these crooks have nabbed many others, including a young orphan, Noodle. She and Wonka quickly become acquainted and team up to grow Wonka’s business with the townsfolk.
You see, Wonka runs into a problem early on that he can’t seem to escape - he “can't sell chocolate without a shop,” and he “can't have a shop without selling chocolate.” This is all due to the gourmet chocolatiers’ underground “cartel.”
Noodle and Willy’s dynamic is heartwarming to me. He cares for her so deeply, and it’s portrayed very well by Timothée and Noodle’s actress, Calah Lane. They make a perfect duo and emanate “big brother” and “little sister” vibes.
The rest of the characters were more or less just plot. With names like Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, and Hugh Grant, it brought traction, but I feel like they might just be cash grabs as their characters are less important to the overall plot.
The plot itself, though, was so captivating I wouldn’t get up to pee even if you paused it! There was never a dull moment. Each musical number had me up and dancing, singing along with every word after a few watches.
I’m being serious when I say I’ve been listening to the soundtrack nonstop - it’s just that good.
The musical features the best soundtrack I’ve heard in a long while. Although Timothée's voice, not being theater trained, was a source of discourse by silly internet folks, I thought he was phenomenal and made every song feel so much more boyish and less forced.
Listening to songs like “A Hatful of Dreams” makes my chest warm and puts a giant smile on my face. The storytelling through each song and Timothée’s intonation creates an environment that feels like I’m standing with him hearing his tale.
It’s almost like he’s speaking to me conversationally, and it just feels more personal than if it were Broadway casted. I got chills from that song, which is saying something, because it’s really just him setting a scene.
“Wonka” does not disappoint. I don’t care what you’ve heard or seen. Every scene in this movie goes above and beyond what you are thinking of when you imagine the backstory to Willy Wonka. If you’ve seen the trailer, you can expect it to create the most exquisite storyline from those intriguing clips.
If you haven’t, I recommend seeing the movie for yourself before the trailer - then going back and watching the trailer, because it literally gave me chills.
Listen to me when I say this movie is not something to pass up. I recommend you put your hand into your “wallkelet” and get yourself a Wonka “tickelet” because this movie is “like no other” - if it were, I’d say don’t bother.
Watching this film will improve your moodle!