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Forget about poppy seed cake, kutia and cheesecake.  “Wonka” joins the sweetest Christmas sweets

Forget about poppy seed cake, kutia and cheesecake. “Wonka” joins the sweetest Christmas sweets

“Wonka” is one of the last major premieres this year. It is sweet, very, very sweet and this sweetness lasts from the first to the last minutes of the film. But doesn’t it cause indigestion?

A completely new version of Willy Wonka’s adventures has been talked about for several years. Warner Bros. acquired the rights to the obligatory children’s book in 2016 and intensive casting work has been underway since 2018. We will see the effect in a week and a half – in Poland, the film “Wonka” will be released in cinemas on Friday, December 14, just before Christmas.

This is another story about an eccentric confectioner specializing in chocolate products. This time, Timothee Chalamet, one of the most sought-after actors, played the role of Willy Wonka. In just a few months, viewers will be able to see another production with Chalamet, in which he also played the main role – the second part of “Dune” (premiere in March 2024). How did the 27-year-old actor cope with a role in which he had to perform several pieces of music? And did “Wonka” come out with Real Chocolate, or maybe a chocolate-like product?

Sweet, very sweet, deliciously sweet and… “Wonka”

“Wonka” is not a remake of stories we already know and another depiction of tormenting naughty children. This time we learn about Willy Wonka’s past – or at least the part in which he goes to a town where he first sets up a shop, and later an entire chocolate factory. Of course, he will have to overcome many adversities (three adversities in the form of conspiring competition), free himself from slavery (a great chapeau bas for the wonderful Olivia Colman) and discover what is most important in life. All this with the help of good-natured and slightly crazy friends.

Unlike Roald Dahl’s original books, in “Wonka” everything is focused on sweetness and goodness. Meanwhile, Dahl was not afraid to include elements of bloody horrors in his children’s books (some descriptions in “The Witches” can even be dreamed about at night by adults) or brutal violence (who doesn’t remember the spike-filled box in which Principal Pałka locked the rebellious students in “Matylda”? ?). Despite all these works, “Wonka” is the sweetest, most optimistic and positive creation that could be created based on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

“Wonka” is an old-school kids’ movie, but it’s missing something

Director Paul King decided to use a card that Disney has been playing for decades. We get a lot of songs (90% of them are performed by Timothee Chalamet himself), an orphan child with the prospect of turning into a princess, a bit of magic and Villains with a capital Z, but not those who murder it, only those whose weapon is chocolate, conspiracies with the police and the church (using chocolate) and innate moderate cruelty. At the same time, several smaller dramas are taking place on the screen, each of which will ultimately end positively. And if we add a slightly festive, pleasantly snow-covered scenery, we get a very pleasant Christmas movie that hasn’t been seen at this time of year for a long time.

Among these Christmas stars, the above-mentioned one shines exceptionally brightly and can play even a very disgusting character in such a way that you should sit down. In the two-hour film, he also steals the show every time – and he steals it all the more because he despised this role and “hated” it (he was only tempted by “money, because he has many children”) Ultimately, in the production, for a few minutes, we actually only see his face and we hear the voice because everything else was created by computer. But it’s enough to make you laugh out loud during every scene with Grant-Oompa-Loompa.

Timothee Chalamet and Hugh Grant, ‘Wonka’ Photo Wonka / frame

Since Rowan Atkinson is also on the payroll, it is impossible not to mention him. He has the opportunity to play the role of a priest again and the scenes with him are, in short, outstanding – it’s a pity that there are so few of them, because the idea of ​​chocoholic brothers being dispersed in the cathedral by a wild animal while singing chorales at the same time was perfect.

Even though it is a film for children, there are plenty of young actors in it. The main character Noodles (translated to “Thread” – played by Calah Lane) successfully brings Wonka down to earth when he flies a little too far. She is the most “Dahlian” character in the entire production and supporting her is a pleasure. At the same time, the lack of other children in whom “our” children could see themselves as in a mirror is bothersome. Which child will identify with the silent telephone operator? Or a comedian whose skill is speaking as if he were underwater? There are no additional child characters, which makes it unclear whether this is a Christmas movie en general, or Christmas for children. Although the adult viewers of the press screening had a lot of fun (judging by the laughter in the room), “Wonka” was ultimately intended to appeal to a younger audience.

Oh, Timothee…

The main role is played by Timothee Chalamet. He is currently one of the most sought-after actors of the young generation – the 27-year-old also has huge crowds of fans (and fans) in every corner of the globe, which automatically means a full audience. After the success of the first “Dune” and before that “Those Days and Those Nights”, “Little Women”, “Lady Bird” and many, many others, every conscious director wants to have him in his cast. In “Wonka” he showed whether he can work in productions for children, which require much more freedom and completely new skills (singing).

Chalamet doesn’t have the Wonka madness that Depp had. His Wonka is also much younger here, he still believes in the general good in people and fate puts such people on his path. Depp’s Wonka no longer had any illusions that there was good in people. Maybe that’s why, from this perspective, Chalamet’s Wonka looks quite pale and bland. Sing sings, wears fancy clothes, says funny lyrics. But it is difficult to tear him away from his earlier roles, in which there was very little room for freedom and humor, and a lot of pathos and dilemmas were required from him. It’s not a Wonka that captivates me, but it’s not a Wonka that discourages me either.

Timothee Chalamet, 'Wonka'Timothee Chalamet, ‘Wonka’ Photo Wonka / frame

It’s a film as sweet as a box of chocolates, very positive and so warm that you can melt in it. Wonka himself may be the weakest element, but the whole thing holds up. Two hours are not long, they are beautiful, casual, interesting, everything is there for a reason. At the same time, it is no longer Roald Dahl, but a very sweet variation on his theme. Fans of the original book and of Dahl’s work and subtle cruelty in general will not like this. But all those who need a break from reality this holiday season and immerse themselves in the sweetest fairy tale of winter will be satisfied.

However, the basic question remains unanswered: where does Wonka get all the magical ingredients from which he makes chocolates? How did he manage to travel around the world to get them? And will we see another movie about it?

Source: Gazeta

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