WONKA – A Review by John Strange

WONKA – A Review by John Strange

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) introduced us to the world of wonder that was personified by Willy Wonka, masterfully portrayed by the late Gene Wilder.  The film opened our eyes to the wonder of Willy’s magical world.  In 2005, Tim Burton reimagined the story in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Johnny Depp in the role of Willy which didn’t hit the mark. 

The world of Willy Wonka is magical and delicious, to paraphrase the slogan of the previous films.  Director Paul King has brought us a look at the Willy who grew up to become the man portrayed in the first two films.  Starring Timothy Chalamet, Wonka shows us how the young man developed his love of chocolate and magic under to tutelage of his beloved mother (Sally Hawkins).

The supporting cast in this film includes the comic talents of Hugh Grant (Oompa-Loompa), Rowan Atkinson (Father Julius), and Keegan-Michael Key (Chief of Police).  In fact, the cast is filled with talented comedic men and women who mesh well into a musical story of magic, chocolate, and evildoers.

Timothy Chalamet proves that he is a talented singer as well as a talented actor.  He plays the role of Willy Wonka with a panache that meshes very well with the entire cast.  Chung-hoon Chung’s cinematography and Nathan Crowley’s production design are amazing.  Every set is a visual essay in eccentricity.

There is singing (though this is not a musical), there are great bad guys, there are excellent good guys, and there is an Oompa-Loompa.  All in all, the film is filled with a visual feast that, merged with the story, makes this a fun film to experience!  Roald Dahl, the author of the book from which these stories are derived would love this film.  Check it out!


Director: Paul King

Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant, Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson, Keegan-Michael Key, Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Matt Lucas, Paterson Joseph, Jim Carter, Rakhee Thakrar, Tom Davis, Natasha Rothwell, Colin O’Brien, Calah Lane, Rich Fulcher, Tracy Ifeachor, Freya Parker

MPAA Rating: PG (for some violence, mild language and thematic elements)

Selig Rating: 4.5 Stars

Runtime: 112 Min.

Release Date: 12/15/2023

Language: English

Movie Site: WONKA Official Site

Trailer: WONKA Official Trailer


The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well, there was nothing else…

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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