Shockingly, I have never viewed any of the Factory franchise; entering “Wonka” as a neophyte was a fantastically refreshing experience, primarily due to the performance of Timothee Chalamet as the dreamy Willy Wonka and his stratospheric recipes for the penultimate chocolate awareness. Chalamet’s pristine innocence as the naïve but embracing entrepreneur is enchanting, singing and dancing with enough zip and swagger, securing viewers’ attention for its entirety. Loving and smiling through Willy’s shenanigans, his travails against the chocolate racketeers, sugar-addicted law enforcers and landlords from the abyss, (presciently depicted by Olivia Colman and Tom Davis) he soars with ingenuity accompanied by his dynamic, daunting sidekick “Noodle” (exhilarating Calah Lane). They divide, conquer and soar through a cinematic, kaleidoscopic, enigmatic, marvelous landscape, dishing gargantuan joy and tingling excitement with every scene.
Discovering the Oompa-Loompas, represented by a grumpy, computer enhanced (or diminished) Hugh Grant; director Paul King chose him for his lacerating, iconoclastic British wit and watching him prance on his stumpy legs could not have been more gratifying.
“Wonka” is an imaginative, innovative, inspirational romp, a magnitude of scintillating fun, erasing for a couple of hours the doom and gloom plaguing contemporary headlines; a reminder that “every good thing in this world started with a dream”. Herein lies glee, happiness.