Wonka, the latest cinematic rendition of Roald Dahl's timeless tale, brings back the quirky chocolatier Willy Wonka in the form of Timothee Chalamet, and it's a delightful pre-Christmas treat.
Chalamet, with his boyish charisma, slips into the garb of Willy Wonka, a character previously portrayed by Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 1971) and Johnny Depp (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005). The story is set in a fictional period in a fictional city that is a blend of British, American and mainland European influences, where Willy Wonka arrives to share his magical chocolates but soon becomes the target of cruel chocolate business tycoons. With the help of a bunch of people who he becomes friends with, Willy Wonka finally overcomes adversities and turns the tables.
Director Paul King presents Willy Wonka as a larger-than-life personality while exploring themes of love, passion, friendship and the importance of having faith in one's dreams. King keeps the focus firmly on the central character, avoiding lengthy backstories for supporting characters and allowing the audience to fully immerse themselves in this fantastical world.
A standout element of Wonka is the enchanting musical score by Joby Talbot and Neil Hannon. Chung-hoon Chung’s cinematography and Mark Everson’s sharp editing create a world where sweetness mingles with a pinch of wickedness, all set against a backdrop of mouth-watering chocolates.
Chalamet channels his 'Lil Timmy Tim' energy as Willy Wonka, with a twinkle in his eye and hope in his heart. He is supported by a stellar cast. The chocolate cartel, featuring Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas and Mathew Baynton, is a pack of likable villains. Keegan-Michael Key's portrayal of the chocolate-obsessed Chief of Police adds a hilarious touch, while Rowan Atkinson shines in a special role. Olivia Colman as the nasty Mrs Scrubbit, Sally Hawkins as Wonka's mother, and Hugh Grant as the grumpy Oompa-Loompa are short but memorable additions.