Table of content    
  1. Compare three versions of ‘Wonka’
  2. How Timothée Chalamet portrays this iconic role
  3. Why Wonka (2023) is one of the squarest movie musicals in decades

‘Wonka’ Review : Timothée Chalamet’s Wonka Is One Of The Squarest Movie Musicals In Decades

Willy Wonka, the whimsical chocolate factory owner, has been portrayed by iconic actors like Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp in previous versions of the beloved tale. Now, in 2023, Timothée Chalamet steps into the role in a new film titled “Wonka.” 
Timothée brings his own flair to the character, offering a fresh and modern take on the origins of the famous chocolatier. It's an exciting cinematic journey that pays homage to the classic character while adding a touch of Timothée's charm and talent to the chocolate-covered world of Wonka.

Compare three versions of ‘Wonka’

Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp Source: Warner Bros. Pictures
Every fan of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971) cherishes the scene where Gene Wilder, as the whimsical candy maker, guides his guests on a trippy tunnel ride through the Chocolate Factory. Chanting a quirky verse and growing increasingly hysterical, Wilder's Wonka reveals a sweet yet hidden maniacal side.
In Tim Burton's 2005 remake, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Johnny Depp, at the peak of his stardom, fully embraced his eccentric style, portraying Wonka as a peculiar blend of Anna Wintour and Michael Jackson. The 2005 version added its own distinct touch to the beloved tale.
In the 2023 film 'Wonka,' Timothée Chalamet plays the main character with a heart full of goodness and a passion for chocolate. Willy, now around 25, returns to London after sailing the world for seven years in search of unique ingredients for his extraordinary candies. With whimsical recipes like the hoverchoc, a chocolate egg that makes you levitate, and a distinctive purple-coat ensemble, Willy's dream is simple: to share the joy of his magical candies and bring wonder to people all over the world.

How Timothée Chalamet portrays this iconic role

To Willy, chocolate is more than just a sweet treat - it's a belief that can brighten one’s entire day, mood, and life. Timothée Chalamet's performance captures this infectious enthusiasm remarkably. Playing a character so genuinely keen and innocent requires a special charm, and Chalamet effortlessly exudes star charisma. 
As Willy, he expressed his boyish sweetness with a touch of sadness, a longing for his late mother (portrayed in flashbacks by Sally Hawkins), who passed on her love for chocolate-making. 
While Chalamet's expressive dark-eyed gaze hints at his thoughts, his heartfelt baritone singing and lines like "Get yourself some Wonka chocolate!" add to the wholesome charm. In the world of Hollywood musicals, "Wonka" stands out as the most traditional in years.

Why Wonka (2023) is one of the squarest movie musicals in decades

According to its plot, Willy arrives in London to open his first chocolate shop in the Galleries Gourmet, a grand mall housing the city's corrupt chocolatiers: Slugworth, the scheming ringleader; the snobbish Fickelgruber, disgusted by the poor; and the pompous Prodnose. With only 12 silver sovereigns, Willy spends it all, confident that once people taste his chocolate, he'll have funds for his dream shop. However, the villains, tasting his chocolate, plot to shut him down by manipulating the Chief of Police, a chocoholic doofus controlled by their underground sweet payoff. 
Besides dealing with the chocolate syndicate, Willy finds himself in a boarding house run by Mrs. Scrubbit (Olivia Colman), a Dickensian tyrant who traps residents with a lifelong contract, keeping them as enslaved workers in the basement. Colman and Tom Davis, playing Mrs. Scrubbit's burly henchman and ridiculous silk-kimono-wearing boyfriend ham it up like characters from a suburban “Sweeney Todd” roadshow.
Some "Wonka" viewers felt it could have been a bigger hit with a touch more Roald Dahl essence and less child-friendly polishing. Neil Hannon's songs, while energetic, lack the enchantment until the iconic "Pure Imagination" reprisal from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," beautifully invoking nostalgia's sweet tooth.
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