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The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Wonka: a Different Side to the Character

Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka in the 2023 film Wonka.
Wikipedia
Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka in the 2023 film Wonka.

Past films about Willy Wonka as “the Mad Chocolatier” were more about the innocent young protagonist, Charlie Bucket, and his adventure in Wonka’s chocolate factory. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp, portrays Charlie as a grateful kid born into poverty and Wonka as an eccentric and prosperous founder of a chocolate factory. Yet, in Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet, we get to see a new perspective of Wonka as a poor, humble child who mirrors Charlie’s character. Unlike previous films involving Wonka, which had a dark twist to them, Wonka is sweet and comedic, which is one of the main reasons I enjoyed it so much.

This story shows the victories and challenges that Wonka goes through in order to achieve his dream of opening his own chocolate factory. The main factor that drives Wonka to achieve his long-time dream is his mom, which we see snippets of. When Wonka finally does get to the place in his career that he has always wanted to, the other chocolatiers in the town, out of jealousy for Wonka’s chocolate, poison his products, try to murder him, and imprison his friend, Noodles. Fortunately, Wonka, along with his newfound friends, expose the chocolate cartel for all of its sins, and Wonka builds a new factory in its place.

It was a lot of fun seeing a younger side of Wonka, especially without the crazy and weird portrayals that have come to characterize him in several films. . The other movies involving Wonka, which were about how he was aging and needed someone new to succeed his chocolate company, weren’t very joyful narratives. However, Wonka truly makes you smile and want to sing along to the wonderfully-performed songs.

The part in the story that intrigued me the most was when Wonka takes a deep breath and says, “Here we go, mama” before stepping out of the sewers and presenting his new chocolate shop. This short line struck me as impactful because it showed how despite his success, Wonka is still just a little innocent boy. This movie made Wonka into a relatable character by presenting his humane sides such as becoming nervous before addressing numerous people, yet still being extraordinary. The quote also tells us how important Wonka’s connection is to his mother, whereas in the 2005 film of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we only hear about Wonka’s shaky relationship with his dad. Therefore, it was nice to see a caring, loving parent by his side.

On the other hand, I do think this movie jumps into the climax way too early, even though it could have stretched out and let the audience get to know the character a bit more. When I watched Wonka’s trailer, I thought the film might allow us to discover the roots to his antisocial personality as shown in past movies, but it didn’t. We got to see his vibrant and exciting personality as a young entrepreneur, yet not much else. I would have loved to deeply get to know his character before we jumped into the conflict.

Overall, I really enjoyed watching the movie. It was a great escapade that kept me engaged until the end. Seeing how the movie ended with Wonka starting his new chocolate factory, there is a high chance that there will be a sequel, maybe repeating the story of Charlie stepping into Wonka’s factory, or maybe as another chapter into the young Wonka’s life. Whichever it will be, I am extremely excited to watch and enjoy it as much as I did this film.

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About the Contributor
Gili Shoval, Staff Writer
Gili Shoval ('27) is enrolled in Journalism this year, and she's excited to write for The Echo.