By: Andre Evans/Senior Writer
Would you go with him to see a world filled with pure imagination? Wonka is a prequel to the critically acclaimed and widely beloved Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. We follow the story of a young Willy Wonka who’s got a dream; he wants to sell chocolate. But not just any chocolate, he wants to sell his special chocolate, chocolate he views would change the world.
We follow Wonka throughout his journey to out-compete the establishment, three chocolate businesses all secretly working together to create a chocolate monopoly. And they want Wonka off of their territory, by any means necessary.
The titular character, Willy Wonka, is portrayed by Timothee Chalamet, who not only looks the part, but acts perfectly as a young, inspired entrepreneur with a few quirks here and there. While he doesn’t have that darker edge that Gene had in the original movie, but, the movie goes for a different approach, one of someone innocent to a fault. And in that, they succeeded.
The supporting cast is filled with, while fun, a little bit lacking side characters, such as the friends Wonka makes in the laundry basement of the hotel scheme he was roped into. This is not an issue with the main supporting character of Noodle, played by Calah Lane. She acts as a foil for Wonka, being more pessimistic and realistic at first, before Wonka comes in and gives hope to her and all others, while inciting fear in the businesses CEO’s, primarily, Slugworth.
The movie’s musical numbers can be a hit or miss at times for me, but there isn’t anything outrageously bland or bad, always accompanied by a visual that can stick in your mind. Of course, we do hear a reprise of the classic “Come With Me,” and that does stick out as a highlight.
Overall, Wonka is an enjoyable time, that, while some might view as appealing too much to a child demographic to enjoy, it’s worth your time if you are interested in the humble beginnings of Willy Wonka.