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‘Wonka’ warms theaters near you

“Wonka” is a film released by Warner Bros. in Dec 2023.
Gwenie Lee
“Wonka” is a film released by Warner Bros. in Dec 2023.

Faced by much anticipation and high expectations, PG rated “Wonka”, directed by Paul King, is a playful and intriguing film released by Warner Bros. in Dec. 2023.

A prequel to the films “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the new movie “Wonka” tells the tale of infamous chocolatier Willy Wonka’s rise to fame and sweet success.

“Wonka” differs from its counterpart films, detailing the adventures of a young chocolate maker, rather than the accomplished Willy Wonka viewers know. Protagonist Wonka fights to compete against powerful chocolatiers Arthur Slugworth, Mr. Prodnose and Mr. Ficklegruber, despite finding himself in poverty, making for an exhilarating story. Each moment of the film had significance, and contributed to the main character’s history. The movie is fairly paced, and makes the best use of its almost two hour run time. Watching the film does not feel like hours of sitting, but rather an enriching experience.

Though “Wonka” has many great aspects, its music is not one of them. Most of the songs are annoyingly long and unnecessary, and distract from the plot, making it hard to stay focused on the film. It feels as though the writers are trying to fill screen time that could’ve been used to support the narrative’s relatively short climax. Despite the lengthy musical numbers, ‘Wonka’ satisfactorily captures attention.

With their notable performances and accurate portrayals, the film’s strong cast gives the movie life. Timothée Chalamet continues to impress with his portrayal of Willy Wonka, bringing a charming youthfulness to the protagonist. Chalamet’s talent was complemented by his teenage costar, Calah Lane. Lane plays the orphan Noodle, who assists the chocolatier on his journey. Known for her guest roles in popular television shows “This Is Us” and “Family Reunion,” Lane wows with a heartfelt performance. Together, the duo shows that anything is possible for ambitious adolescents, and paves the way for Wonka’s future popularity.

Cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung creates a colorful and vivid setting for the story. The film’s setting reminds viewers of familiar scenes, such as Wonka’s lively factory and charismatic chocolate store, and the animated parts were well-done. The transitions from vibrant town scenes to creepy hostel scenes emphasize the two sides to Wonka’s personality, and complete the film’s reality.

Amidst a slew of newly released prequels, ‘Wonka’ stands out for its humorous storytelling and award-worthy cast. The film ensures viewers that Willy Wonka’s legacy is still alive, and gives longtime fans an introduction to the protagonist. If you’re looking for a good laugh with family and friends, or just to escape the cold, watching ‘Wonka’ is a must.

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Gwenie Lee, Reporter
Gwenie is a sophomore this year. She is excited to learn more about photo editing and enjoys writing enjoys writing opinion and news pieces.
Contact by emailing [email protected] and put the reporter's name in the subject line.

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