The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

“Wonka” Hits a Sweet Spot with Moviegoers

Credit: Wikipedia
Credit: Wikipedia

Today’s generation has a new singing chocolatier at work for them.

The new musical style movie “Wonka” is enticing both kids and adults with its unique reinterpretation of the classic 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. The new movie follow Wonka as he navigates the beginning of his chocolate career in London in the 1930s.

In 2005, an updated version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory came out, and followed the same story line as the original. This new movie takes a completely different perspective, showing what happened to Wonka before his arrival at his factory.

The new Wonka features Timothée Chalamet as an aspiring chocolatier who signs a contract that says if he does not pay his one thousand sovereigns, he will be forced to work in a scrub house until his debt is paid off. While he is there, he finds five other people in the same position, and they all conspire to set themselves free.

Amidst the hijinks and hilarity, Chalamet steals the show with his singing and dancing.

Chalamet, a 28-year-old actor from New York City, has primarily starred in dramas, like Dune, Lady Bird, and Call Me By Your Name, but Wonka is giving the actor a platform to show another side of himself. Popular songs from the new Wonka include “A Hatful of Dreams,” and “You’ve Never Had Chocolate Like This.”

Director of Williston Musicals Dr. Jorge Rodriquez thought Paul King, the director of Wonka, did a great job of shining a light on Chalamet’s strong suits.

“The music  moved the story well, while setting tone and delivering plenty of fun and laughter,” he said. “Chalamet was out of his comfort zone. The choreographer did a good job playing to his skills.”

Manohla Dargis, a critic from the New York Times, appreciates the simplicity of the movie.

“It’s a bright, light movie — in palette and temperament — that’s stuffed with talented performers who seem to be having a pleasant time, even when pretending to be meanies,” she said.

Chalamet is not the only star to grace the screen. Playing the Ompaa Lompa is English actor Hugh Grant, known for his work in Love, Actually, and Notting Hill. Known prominently as “Mr. Bean,” Rowan Atkinson plays a chocolate obsessed priest who houses a chocolate cartel in the basement of the church in town.

The movie, which began filming in 2021, took longer to make than expected because of the SAG-AFTRA strike that prevented actors from participating in any Hollywood promotions or movies. The filming began in Sep. 2021, and was released until Dec. 15 of 2023.

Since the film was released it has made $630 million, making it the 8th highest grossing movie in 2023.

Luke Richardson, a senior from Granby, Mass, has been into theater since a young age, and was very excited to see a new rendition of one of his favorite films.

“The film is super light and bubbly which allows it to move at a quick pace and keep audiences of all ages engaged,” Luke said. “The world that Wonka lives in is very well realized with depth given to almost every location and character’ Luke, the leader of the Williston Film Club said. “It really feels like a personal and intimate story. The songs are catchy, the performances are great, and at the end it manages to tug on your heartstrings.”

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