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  • Danny Harrington

Wonka Review: A Whimsical Piece of Nostalgia

Timothée Chalamet Wonka film has finally landed on streaming services this week, so I finally got a chance to sit down and watch it.


Now before we get into the film, I am such a fan of the Gene Wilder film that I was a little worried that his movie would tarnish the legacy of that film, however my fears were quashed as this film hits all the right nostalgic notes and is a whimsical addition to the Gene Wilder movie.


The film stars Chalamet in the role as a young fresh faced Wonka although still the right amount of quirky. It features a cavalcade of British acting & comedy talent including Olivia Coleman, Hugh Grant, Rowan Atkinson, Matt Lucas and quiet a few of the cast of Horrible History.


The film comes from the brilliant Simon Farnaby and Paul King who are brilliant writer director combo of the Paddington films, with Simon Farnaby also appearing in the film as Basil.


The film itself follows the early years as Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) arrives in a place that very much feels like London but it's sort of ambiguous, much like the school in Sex Education you never quiet know where they are in the world.


Wonka meets a young woman who working at a hotel called Noodle (Calah Lane) who is integral to the plot, these are your main entry points into this world, without spoiling how they meet and the majority of the story I'll just say they are fabulous together.


The music is the main point of nostalgia with some very familiar songs if you've seen the the Gene Wilder original, with a lot of remakes of classic songs and of course Hugh Grant's delightful turn as a little orange man with green hair.


Hugh Grant is easily the best bit of this movie as the sole Umpalumpa in the film, his songs are very whimsical because it does sound like he's slightly like 'really you want me to do this' a slight exasperation behind the vocals, I found it slightly comical. Chalamet's performance is also superb, he understood the assignment and passed with flying colours as Wonka.


Overall this film is a beautiful piece of nostalgia for children that watched the Gene Wilder film when they were growing up, from the music, the setting and the chocolate cartel villains that try to shut down Wonka, whom has to come up with inventive ways to get around them.


The films message feels like it's telling you to chase your dreams and try to hold onto to that child like whimsy that make you unique, it's quiet stark the adult characters vs Wonka and Noodle, of course Wonka has his allies too. But overall the film is a solid seven out of ten and one to watch when maybe you're having a crappy day or just feeling a bit of gloom because I never failed to smile for the majority of the film.



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