Today I enjoyed: Wonka.
On opening night in Germany actually, so just a few days ago.
Wonka follows the young Willy Wonka - played by Timothée Chalamet - on his quest to sell his wonderful magical chocolate creations. This film plays before the former 1971 and 2005 movies featuring Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp respectively, and is an origin story for Willy Wonka. As far as I know, this movie does not stay true to the source material by Roald Dahl, and takes at least some freedom to tell a brighter and more colorful story.
I have never seen the 1971 movie, but I liked Tim Burton's interpretation from 2005 with Johnny Depp as a not only weird, but all-out crazy Willy Wonka. The film was dark and peculiar and kept a somewhat threatening atmosphere. Timothée Chalamet now creates an entirely different Wonka, who is full of joy, enthusiasm, and optimism bordering on naivety. And while some might dislike that, I think it works quite well, and it is a nice spin to the character.
Wonka, while having its dark and sad moments, is overall a joyful movie with a lot of emotions, music and bright colors. Did I mention, that it actually is a musical movie? Well it is, and that is actually not a bad thing. I watched the German dubbed version though, which took some of the magic away, as the translated songs just do not work as good as they would in their original version. From the very first song, it just felt a little awkward, and I would have preferred English songs, even in the dubbed version. So I will certainly watch the movie again in English, to get the full experience.
But all criticism aside, I like the movie and can wholeheartedly recommend it. Wonka takes you on a magical journey with beautiful whimsicality, music that makes you want to dance along and a beautiful finale. It is no wonder, that the movie was released just before the holidays, as it is a perfect opportunity to get you into the mood for the holiday season, and you will have a great time watching it.
Happy Holidays, everyone!