Home   Whats On   Article

Subscribe Now

Wonka could be a new family favourite classic

Film review: Wonka (PG) – viewed at The Light Cinema, Wisbech

Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Calah Lane, Hugh Grant, Rowan Atkinson, Olivia Colman, Tom Davis, Matt Lucas, Paterson Joseph and Mathew Baynton.

Director: Paul King Run time: One hour, 56 minutes

Wonka (PG)
Wonka (PG)

As origin stories go, I thought the makers of this movie were potentially on a hiding to nothing, especially when making a musical which would undoubtedly be compared with the 1971 classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder.

And don’t forget, for many Johnny Depp’s start turn in the 2005 movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was even more popular.

So what could Timothée Chalamet do with the role? Well, totally reinvent it is the answer. Whereas Wilder and Depp were closer to the cold, eccentric Wonka of Dahl’s novels, there is a clean canvas here and Chalamet plays Willy as a naive, gentle and child-like character.

Allied with his orphan companion Noodle (child star Calah Lane), a great, new storyline, some smashing songs, and characters that could have come straight from the pen of the legendary Dahl, and we could have a modern classic on our hands.

The storyline sees the orphaned Willy return to land after seven years at sea collecting ingredients and ideas for world-beating chocolate recipes. He is tricked into years of subservience in a laundry by evil couple Mrs Scrubitt (Olivia Colman) and Bleacher (Tom Davis).

However, here he meets Noodle and a host of other characters who help him to escape and fulfil his candy-selling dreams while fighting off the ‘chocolate cartel’ of Slugworth (Paterson Joseph), Prodnose (Matt Lucas) and Fickelgruber (Mathew Baynton).

Throw in star turns by Hugh Grant, who is wonderful as an Oompa-Loompa, and Rowan Atkinson as an abbot in charge of a group of chocolate-loving monks, and you’ve got some serious comedic talent on show.

The scarier bits are perhaps a little more tame than its two predecessors and the songs are not instantly as catchy (it’s the reprisal of 1971’s Pure Imagination that’s stuck in my head as I write this) but, all in all, I can see this being a family favourite for many years to come.

Rating: 9/10

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More