Taking a trip down memory lane with one of my favourite childhood films with ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’, based on Roald Dahl’s book titled as ‘Charlie & the Chocolate Factory’.
The film’s story is iconic that I shouldn’t even have to summarise the film, but I’m going too anyway in case of readers who have never seen this timeless classic. The story sees Charlie Bucket, a boy who is raised in a family that’s poor, as he lost his father during some point of his young life. Although, interested in Mr. Willy Wonka’s secret factory, his Grandpa Joe explains he closed his factory after spies were after his latest invention and trying to seek the secret formula, including the worst Mr. Slugworth (basically Plankton from ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’). However, the whole world’s after Wonka’s chocolate as he has hidden five golden tickets in millions of his chocolate bars, leading the world to seek them as the reward is to take a tour of his factory and after the grand prize of a lifetime.
It’s hard to believe that this film was not a huge financial success upon its first release in 1972. It became a cult film that cemented its legacy thanks to repeat television broadcasts and huge sales on home video and DVD – which I can share, was the first film I ever bought on DVD after watching it as a kid for the first time on Channel Nine. Oh, the memories.
This film is a whimsical delight, carrying its own charm and uniqueness. Does it has it flaws? Absolutely. However, it’s so entertaining that these flaws basically become non-existed. The cast is very good, there’s basically no one in this film that their performance was bad – and that’s impressive considering this film’s cast is shared with kids, but the main children have fun with their roles, knowing their characters traits and flaws. Even the parents of the children are fun and also seem like real people as sometimes Wonka says something, they tell each other how completely bonkers this thing is or what their occupation in the real world is. It’s actually surprisingly entertaining to watch these parents banter towards one another. However, Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka himself is the film’s stand-out, as his performance is funny, but yet his character is also very mysterious. The scene where we see him for the first time – we can’t tell who this character is, and that is only cemented in the film’s overall runtime. He seems to be likeable, yet also in a way that he has become isolated and lost (the creepy boat ride scene sums that up quite perfectly). Wilder is sublime in this iconic performance.
Additionally, the songs in this musical are also great to listen too. There really isn’t any songs you’d want to turn off, although the Oompa Loompa’s songs may get a tad bit all too repetitive towards the end. My favourites of the bunch is “Cheer Up, Charlie”, “(I’ve Got A) Golden Ticket” and the film’s signature song “Pure Imagination”, although it is purely opinionated as these songs are for the most part fantastic and memorable to listen too. Although, how come Veruca gets a song, and the other kids don’t, excluding Charlie of course because he is the film’s central character in the story, and also his song is mainly shared with Grandpa Joe. It’s been bugging me for years. Maybe the song was too good it needed to be in the film? Maybe.
‘Willy Wonka &the Chocolate Factory’ is a timeless classic that is nothing but scrumdidlyumptious.