Pelham Examiner

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Pelham Examiner

Prequel ‘Wonka’ takes filmgoers on whimsical journey through candy man’s early career

The latest iteration of the story of Willy Wonka premiered in theaters last month simply as “Wonka,” offering more whimsy than the previous film incarnations. The musical invites its viewers to travel back to the early life of the beloved character as played by Timothée Chalamet with more bright-eyed innocence than filmgoers have seen in the quirky chocolatier.

The story starts when Wonka arrives in a big city known for the Gallery Gourmet, a shopping area filled with the best chocolate in the world. He dreams of opening his own chocolate shop but is stymied by his poverty and lack of housing. Mr. Bleacher (Tom Davis) finds Wonka and brings him to a boarding house.

Mrs. Scrubitt (Olivia Colman), the owner of the boarding house, has Wonka sign a contract to live at her residence, but the illiterate Wonka is unaware that he is signing himself up for 27 years of servitude. Wonka befriends Noodle (Calah Lane), a young orphan girl who also works in exchange for a place to live at the boarding house. She helps Wonka escape in a laundry basket so that he may sell his chocolate to the people of the city. In addition to the nefarious Mrs. Scrubitt, Wonka’s more sinister enemies are the members of the Chocolate Cartel, including head chocolatiers Prodnose (Matt Lucas), Ficklegruber (Mathew Baynton) and Slugworth (Paterson Joseph). Wonka and his friends must find a way to establish the chocolate factory and defeat the greedy Chocolate Cartel and Mrs. Scrubitt.

“Wonka” teaches an important lesson about dreams. Noodle often laments to Willy Wonka the mantra, “Greedy conquer the needy.”  But the main sentiment of this rags-to-riches story is that one can come from nothing and with tenacity, creativity and support from friends create a a beautiful empire. While Chalamet’s acting far surpasses his singing talents, he creates a likable character who carries the catchy songs; his earnestness will warm the hearts of viewers. The entire cast, scenery and outfits are spectacular. While some parts of the movie seem unnecessary to the plot, the movie still comes together enchantingly in the end.

Grade: A




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About the Contributor
Charlotte Cohn, Assistant Managing Editor
My name is Charlotte Cohn, and I am a tenth-grader at Pelham Memorial High School. I love writing, listening to music, and dancing. I have been writing for the Pelham Examiner since 2019.

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