Wonka Review

Friday 8 December 2023

Plot: With dreams of opening a shop in a city renowned for its chocolate, a young and poor Willy Wonka discovers that the industry is run by a cartel of greedy chocolatiers.
 Film: Wonka

Director: Paul King

Writers: Paul King, Simon Farnaby

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Calah Lane, Olivia Coleman

“Wonka,” is the sort of film that when people have asked me what I thought the first word that came to mind was ‘nice’. This is a cozy, family film that will no doubt leave you feeling good when you leave the cinema.

This is Timothee Chalamet like you’ve never seen him before. Gone is the stoic, brooding actor we know from Dune and Call Me By Your Name; in his place is the incredibly physical, eccentric ball of energy playing Willy Wonka. After watching Wonka I can’t remember why I had want reservations about this casting choice, apart from the singing but we’ll get onto that.

Supported by varied cast of famous faces; Olivia Coleman, Roman Atkinson Hugh Grant and many more, as well as a brilliant breakout performance from Calah Lane, who plays an orphan called Noodle, who helps Willy along the way. Wonka is full of sparkling personalities that help bring the script to life.


What stops Wonka being great for me is the musical side of things. As a huge fan of musicals I always have high expectations and for me the soundtrack was lacking that power ballad that would really make this a memorable soundtrack. That being said, the songs ‘For a Moment’ and ‘A World of Your Own’ are lovely and the visuals that accompany them cannot be faulted, Timothee Chalamet just isn’t the performer they needed to make the soundtrack really shine. 

For a film that I’m fairly certain no one asked for; Wonka is no doubt going to be a success this Christmas. While I wouldn’t necessarily be in a rush to watch it again myself, I will be recommending it to everyone as a festive/non-festive outing over the holidays. 

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