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Opening Date
06 Dec 2023
116 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Paul King
Timothée Chalamet, Hugh Grant, Calah Lane
The story will focus specifically on a young Willy Wonka and how he met the Oompa-Loompas and his adventures prior to opening the world's most famous chocolate factory
By InCinemas  05 Dec 2023
A delectable feast for the soul has arrived just in time for the holidays!
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Directed by Paul King – who also co-wrote the film with Simon Farnaby – comes the story of how Willy Wonka goes from a young adult selling chocolate in a small shop to an eccentric genius known all over the world.

Wonka stars Timothée Chalamet in the title role, along with newcomer Calah Lane and an ensemble cast including Keegan-Michael Key, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carter, Tom Davis, Olivia Colman, and Hugh Grant.

It’s no surprise the film shares similar positive traits that Paddington 2 exudes considering both films share the same director and writers. Wonka is not just a grand whimsy feast for the eyes but also a sentimental wholesome treat for the heart!

The determination and unwavering optimism of the titular character is only made more captivating thanks to the charm and charisma of its lead. Chalamet’s command and take on Wonka brings to life a fresh iteration of the character for a new generation. His eclectic performance further cements himeself as one of the finest performers of his time.

While it may seem Wonka depends on its main character to shoulder the film, the supporting actors pull their weight with scene-stealing performances peppered throughout the film–from Lane’s Annie-like Noodle and Joseph’s villainous Arthur Slugworth to Key’s Chief-of-Police and Colman’s Mrs Lovett-inspired Mrs Scrubbit but especially Atkinson’s chocolate-loving Father Julius. The accumulated time for the legendary comic's return to the big screen may only amount to mere minutes but he makes the most of every second.

Having not being marketed as a musical, it was a delightful surprise for this musical-loving writer to witness when the film begins with Wonka belting an opening number, setting tone and expectations from the get-go. Chalamet’s singing talent may not match up to his acting prowess but his charismatic energy makes the musical numbers work. There are multiple parallels the film shares with other musicals – namely Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and The Greatest Showman to name a few – but none of the songs make for this to be the selling point of the film, safe for the previously established song "Pure Imagination" that debuted in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). It is, however, easy to look past this as Wonka offers more to be amazed by than its music.

Adding to the film’s holistic success is the attention to detail on Wonka’s costume and production design. The great sceneries and vibrant colours lend to the magic of the film’s world-building, allowing its viewers to feel immersed in a world of pure imagination. 

If every good thing in the world started with a dream then Wonka is one magnificent dream we don't want to wake up from.
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