Wonka – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Wonka – Heart and Chocolate: Formula of the Sweetest Kind

Through life’s journey, we have thoughts of infinity.  This pure sense of joy comes from the innate thought of feeling good, something that ripples within our being … including in the stories we tell.  A feel-good story provides a soft touch of fun, but also a bit of heart.  When these stories translate to the big screen, they can become an instant classic.  In this review, I look at the latest feel-good musical film.  In a journey that takes the audience into the past, we witness the rise of a famed chocolate maker.  Even with a predictable outline, Wonka is a charming journey of what it means to have heart … with a bit of chocolate. 

In this prequel tale, a young Willy Wonka (Timothy Chalamet) will face many obstacles to achieve his dream … opening his own chocolate store.  With an outline built within a feel-good motif, there is a delicate balance of storytelling and spectacle.  In the beginning, the story builds through a sensual directive of whimsical charm of its titular character.  With an opening of colorful conversations, wit, and a bit of musical appeal, we get a foundation of alluring factors (of what’s to come).  As the journey continues to build from this directive, we get a vibrance through Wonka’s perspective.  Through conversations (and more musical leanings) he learns about the Galleries Gourmet and the ‘chocolate cartel’.  This ‘antagonist’ pillar adds another wrinkle to Wonka’s dreams but leads down a pathway of wholesome reverie.  With a new obstacle in his way, it creates a situation that becomes paramount to his own guise.  The levity placed against the formula provides the spirited catalyst within predictable situations, creating a thematic appeal that threads innocence of its titular character.  For all the generalities, it is this poignant grip the audience feels in rooting for Wonka to achieve his everlasting dream.

As Wonka uses his wit and imagination, he maneuvers through each obstacle with a sense of hope and glee.  As the journey weaves through conversational moments and musical scenes, the continued push of ‘chasing your dreams’ provides the glimmer among the dark.  When things seem to be at their worst, Wonka (with a little bit of convenient plot devices) plans for the ultimate showdown with the chocolate cartel.  This leads into a third act that weaves together colorful hijinks, heartfelt moments, and a touch of nostalgia.  With the alluring factors coming to light, we head into the welcomed feel-good climax and epilogue.  Wonka is a prequel film that plays within a formula that brings heart to the big screen.  If you are a fan of the IP, feel-good stories, or a good family film, this is one for you.  With strong imaginative appeal, I believe this is worth seeing on the big screen.

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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