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Cedar Post

The student news site of Sandpoint High School

Cedar Post

The student news site of Sandpoint High School

Cedar Post

Wonka: The Review:

A comprehensive analysis of the origin story of Willy Wonka.
Noah+and+Matthew+with+William+Wonka
Noah and Matthew with William Wonka

The long-awaited review of the movie “Wonka” is finally here. We know we are the best movie critics to ever exist, but hold your excitement. The Chocolate Factory Chronicles has always been a loved movie series ever since the creation of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie. In our review of the movie, we outline the ins and outs of Wonka.

Spoiler Free Review:

Wonka takes the audience on a whimsical journey into the mysterious and magical world of Willy Wonka, offering a fresh perspective on the beloved character. While staying true to the essence of the Wonka verse, the plot delivers unexpected twists and turns that keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

One of the most commendable aspects of the film is its unique and captivating storyline. From the interesting themes of bribery to the chocolate cartel, it deviates from the original Wonka venture into uncharted territories, introducing intriguing and surprising elements. The narrative unfolds in a way that keeps the audience guessing, making it a truly engaging experience.

The movie explores a fascinating theme that adds depth to Wonka’s character, providing a new layer to the iconic chocolatier. The complex relationships between characters, such as Noodle and Wonka, created interesting moments. Exploring this theme brings a fresh and contemporary touch to the story, making it relevant to a modern audience while retaining the charm of the classic tale.

The humor in Wonka is a standout element. The cleverly crafted jokes add a delightful touch to the overall experience. Hugh Grant played a perfect role and added to the comedic effect of the movie. The humor is not only entertaining but also serves to enhance the personalities of the characters, creating a perfect balance between wit and heart.
However, one minor setback was the initial musical-styled parts of the movie. At the start, these segments felt uninteresting and bland, disrupting the otherwise engaging flow of the film. While the musical elements are a trademark of Wonka’s world, the execution in the early scenes could have been more captivating.

Despite this minor hiccup, Wonka is undeniably a must-watch. The film successfully revitalizes the Wonka legacy, offering a unique blend of fantasy, humor, and unexpected plot twists. Fans of the classic story will find themselves enchanted by the fresh take on the character, and newcomers will be captivated by the magical world created by the filmmakers. Wonka is a delightful cinematic experience that manages to surprise and entertain, making it a standout addition to the Wonka franchise. The movie surprised me on all measures and as such received a well-deserved rating of eight out of ten.

Spoiler Review:

Going into this movie, I didn’t quite expect the plot to unfold in the way that it did. Taking place in albeit a very similar style city as the previous installments in the Wonka-verse (it is unclear whether it is the exact same city as the other movies), the story brings us into a city where an aptly named “chocolate cartel” (the exact and unaltered words of the film itself) has sole oligopolistic control over the chocolate industry and a stranglehold on important groups, like the police and the clergy. Willy Wonka, introduced to the audience through a musical number, then attempts to try and sell his chocolate, where he has the police called on him by the chocolate triumvirate. He is then tricked into owing a lot of money to a shady inn, where he meets his future partners in crime for selling chocolate under-the-counter, including one of the other main characters of the movie, Noodle, an orphan. The shenanigans ensue, and eventually, the cartel is dissolved and the main characters are now all happy that they technically now possess a monopoly on the chocolate industry in this city. All is well.

To begin with, I actually really enjoyed this movie. The first couple of musical numbers, despite the fact that I like musicals, were not the best that I have seen and sometimes dragged on too long. However, I will say that most of the songs, especially “For a Moment” during the scene where Wonka and Noodle milk a giraffe at the zoo for his chocolate, were quite fun and really catchy. Additionally, I think all of the actors did a splendid job, specifically Timothée Chalamet who did a really good job of emulating the quirkiness of Gene Wilder’s and even Johnny Depp’s iterations of the character, while also introducing a new take that created interpersonal diversity, like his struggles with holding a business in a world seeking to take him down and the pain from losing his mother at a young age. And his iteration of “Imagination” from the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory admittedly made me very nostalgic and I was really fond of it. Additionally, the actress of Noodle, Calah Lane, did a really delightful job in her debut movie, matching the energy of Chalamet’s quirkiness. Hugh Grant, despite his annoying remarks about playing the role in press releases, played the disgraced Oompa Loompa very well and was very funny, who has a really funny relationship with Wonka where he attempts to steal his chocolate because Wonka got him exiled when he took three cocoa beans from his island when the Oompa Loompa was asleep on the job.

This brings me into the humor in the film. I thought the movie was hilarious, and that all of the actors upped the ante on their joke chops. From Chalamet’s social ignorance to the chocolate cartel’s over-the-top anti-proletariat humor to the ironic stoicism of the outcast Oompa Loompa, there was a lot of humor to get out of the movie. There was a really funny joke with Keegan-Michael Key who played the police chief who was bought out by the chocolate cartel to stop Wonka from making chocolate, and paid in the form of chocolate. Throughout the movie, he progressively gets bigger and bigger to show how deep he was in the controversy. Additionally, there was another funny joke dealing with operatic “chocoholic nuns” (again, verbatim of the film) and the corrupt clergyman with a sweet tooth who helps the chocolate cartel run the show underneath his church, played by the ever-witty and veteran actor Rowan Atkinson, or Mr. Bean. In summary, this film shines in its jokes that it pulls, with the cinematography and editing supporting the humor, which some movies fall flat on, and in its actors, who seem to really belong in the world they inhabit and manage to make their characters people that you care about and hope to succeed.

Before I conclude the review I would like to mention just a few things that I didn’t love about the movie. To start, I did mention that I liked the chocolate cartel being over-the-top, but sometimes it was too much, specifically when one of the plutocrats stated hacking and almost vomiting whenever someone said “poor,” which was sort of funny the first time but happened near three times in the span of the scene, which grew stale. One other thing that I found strange was the reveal of Noodle’s lineage. Wonka discovers that one of the plutocrats, Slugworth, was actually Noodle’s uncle and had given her away to the inn that later indentures Wonka to labor, which was really only used as a device to be able to find Noodle’s real mother, who was still alive. While the scene of Noodle’s reunion with her mother was very heartwarming, I felt that Slugworth’s relation to Noodle was irrelevant and merely a cop-out plot device. Overall though, I found the film heartwarming and funny, and I would recommend this film to anyone, not just those who appreciate the original films. I wouldn’t say it is necessarily better than the others for I am not sure, but as it stands I would give this movie an 8 out of 10.

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About the Contributors
Matthew Norton, Staff Writer
What is your favorite sport, if you have one?
My favorite sports are tennis and golf. I can't decide.
What is your favorite movie?
Personally, my favorite movie is Fellowship of the Ring.
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Favorite color is purple because it's a swag color.