The world's greatest chocolatier returns in 'Wonka,' a film to sweeten the Christmas season

The feature film starring Timothée Chalamet releases Dec. 15 in U.S. theaters.

Actor Timothée Chalamet has undertaken perhaps his greatest challenge: stepping into the shoes of Willy Wonka, the famous chocolatier from Roald Dahl's novels, who was previously portrayed by the likes of Johnny Depp and Gene Wilder. And he has succeeded. The young actor has recreated this magic in "Wonka," the prequel to the 2005 feature film "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," which hits American theaters this Friday, Dec. 15. His character, while admittedly falling short of Depp's theatrics, does not disappoint.

Chalamet thus gives us a first glimpse of a more emotional Willy Wonka, perhaps more concerned about those around him, whom he tries to help as he pursues his dream of becoming the "world's greatest chocolatier," thus fulfilling his late mother's dying wish. To achieve this, however, he must go to the Gourmet Galleries, located in a European country that could well be Switzerland, though is not specifically mentioned the film.

Timothée Chalamet interpreta a un joven y despreocupado Willy Wonka en 'Wonka'.
(Cordon Press)

Three of the largest chocolate industries in the world are all run by cocoa magnates who will not hesitate to do whatever it takes to get rid of Wonka, who soon threatens their business with his bold new ideas and, especially, with a chocolate that could well attract their most loyal clientele. Faced with this, the film's villains, Arthur Slugworth (Paterson Joseph), Prodnose (Matt Lucas) and Fickelgruber (Mathew Baynton) will devise a plan to take down an enthusiastic Willy Wonka and save their chocolate reign.

Villains, the film's weak spot

The antagonists are the weakest part of the film. While the actors' performances shine, their plots are predictable, especially Slugworth's, whose story is intuited practically from the first minute. The police captain, an ally of the villains, is played by a brilliant Keegan-Michael Key. He gives life to a charismatic character addicted to chocolate that reminds us of the gluttonous child who appeared in the 2005 feature film, not only for his love of candy, but especially for his character.

Also noteworthy are Willy's allies, whom he meets in a disreputable hostel, though they become friends from the beginning. We meet Noodle (Canan Lane), an orphan whose life will change after meeting the young chocolatier. Despite her distrustful nature, she will end up immersed in Willy's mission and will gradually open up to the young man who will end up connecting with her. This creates one of the film's most beautiful friendships, and a direct nod to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," as we understand a little better the relationship that the master chocolatier has with the youngest in the house.

Calah Lane y Timothée Chalamet interpretan a Noodle y Willy Wonka, una de las amistades más destacables del largometraje 'Wonka'.
(Cordon Press)

Nods to 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

These are not the only references to the film, let alone the novel, that we find in "Wonka." The Oompa Loompas also return. Although, on this occasion, there is only one, played by Hugh Grant. His appearance is reduced to practically a cameo, but it serves to show the relationship that the master chocolatier has with these peculiar characters who, of course, return to play an important role in his factory.

Timothée Chalamet y Hugh Grant como Willy Wonka y un Oompa Loompa, dos de los personajes principales de 'Wonka'.
(Cordon Press)

The music is the most positive aspect of the film, with each song shining in its own way. All the songs fit perfectly into the plot and are a highlight for anyone who enjoys a good soundtrack. In fact, it would be strange if "Wonka" does not end up with several nominations in the upcoming awards season, one of them, for sure, for its soundtrack, which could contend for one of the coveted Oscar statuettes.