I feel like I’m dreaming each time I watch this movie. It’s one of my favorites and has meant a lot to me in my life.
Definitely one of a kind, due to it’s adamant surrealism, it appeals to both kids and adults.
The elusive Wonka chocolate factory is holding a worldwide contest so that 5 lucky winners can finally get a glimpse inside the factory walls and win a lifetime supply of chocolate.
It’s supposed to take place in America, but maintains an industrial European feel. Charlie Bucket, our protagonist, lives with his mother and 4 grandparents. They’re very poor, and rely on Charlie’s paper route money to get by. Which is why Charlie wants, more than anything, to win this contest.
Anyone who’s ever known they wanted something more than anyone else in the world can relate to Charlie’s childlike desire to win Wonka’s contest. It may seem frivolous, but that only highlights Charlie’s desperation. He can only imagine luxurious things. And that ingenuous mindset is what just may give him what he needs.
The film enraptures you within the first 35 minutes, before we even get inside the magical factory. And once we’re in, the film ascends to a whole new level. So full of unique ideas and concepts. Set pieces that made people depressed about the movie’s fictionality long before Avatar’s ever did.
And Willy Wonka, himself, portrayed by Gene Wilder, is a marvel. No other man could have given us such a brilliant performance. He’s sweet, he’s creepy, he’s sincere, and he’s mischievous. Roald Dahl’s original 1964 novel could be adapted for film one thousand times over, yet Wilder will always remain exclusively synonymous with the role.
Oh yeah, and the music is phenomenally perfect.
For being a “flop” from 1971, this film holds up better than most, if not all, of its contemporaries.