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Simon Farnaby and Paul King, the British writer-duo behind Paddington’s success, have treated audiences to a delightful prequel of Willy Wonka’s tale in their latest collaboration. In this fanciful World War II romance set in Paris, Timothée Chalamet plays an impish chocolatier.

However, Farnaby and King’s comedic genius is proven by there being room for doubt concerning whether or not a musical-prequel to Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka would be successful. The film follows Chalamet as Wonka whose mother left him chocolate recipes (Sally Hawkins) with which he disrupts the static chocolate industry of Paris. This is a delightful Christmas movie that combines spectacle, imagination, sweetness and humor in order to weave a fascinating story.

However, his journey through adversity, cruelty and imprisonment while introducing innovative ideas about chocolate is captured brilliantly by Chalamet. It becomes easy for the audience to fall in love with him as he embarks on his adventure with new friends whom are endearing characters themselves. His growth ends up into an heroic face-off against villains who threaten “Death by Chocolate,” where the purity and guts of Chalamet are showcased.

Hugh Grant steals scenes as an original Oompa-Loompa reduced digitally to 12 inches and gives snobbish but entertaining performances.The ensemble cast including Matt Lucas (Nardole from Doctor Who), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Tom Davis (Murder in Successville), Rowan Atkinson (Black Adder), Calah Lane (Neighbourhood Watch) Matthew Baynton (Yonderland) Paterson Joseph( Timeless) Keegan-Michael Key(Ghostbusters) Phil Wang(Bad Education), Jim Broadbent (Paddington 2) and Olivia Colman (The Favourite) add an additional layer of humour and depth to the world of Wonka.

A Willy Wonka Unlike Any Other

In this regard, the movie avoids looking into the past of a grown-up Wonka thereby leaving it an enigma as well as sidestepping any dark sides that could be seen in adult character’s ambivalence and Dahlian wickedness. Instead, the text portrays him as a nice guy who has made several mistakes; however, does not try to show how his evil nature came about when he grew older. This omission adds a veil of secrecy surrounding Wonka’s essence making it possible that more movies will follow.


Nonetheless, despite having doubts about another version of Willy Wonka’s story, Farnaby and King have surpassed their predecessors with a spoonful more sugar in their adaptation. The charm of Chalamet together with his adorable performance make this film amazing hence overshadowing both Gene Wilder (1971) and Johnny Depp (2005) versions. “The Wonka Origins” entertains while bringing joy through chocolate for those who watch it.

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