Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 family musical directed by Mel Stuart where mysterious candy maker Willy Wonka decides to hide 5 tickets inside his famous chocolate bars with the prize being a trip inside his factory. The reason I reviewed this is because Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka himself) died from complications of Alzheimer’s yesterday (29/08/16) at age 83.
While I honestly never realised the movie was quite old it was obvious once I started (re)watching it. The opening was still cool with you getting a hint about how real chocolate bars get made and some nice music to go with it even if the video seemed a little bit dark at times. What’s even better though is how the movie immediately pulls you in musically with “The Candyman” simply to show just how awesome Willy Wonka is meant to be which was totally believable.
It also acts as the immediate introduction to Charlie and even a look at the factory from the outside among other things. I really liked how the music was so fluid with how it changed and basically hinted at things by itself without you needing to be told. Some plot points did feel like they showed their age though, the way Charlie’s family lived was definitely convincing but it wasn’t something you’d probably see nowadays. Always found it amusing how old movies essentially double as small history lessons nowadays.
You could tell immediately that something good was going to happen to Charlie with how well they played up his good nature and that of his grandparents even if its obvious that Joe is the only important one of the four. I’ve never seen a movie other than this that successfully hypes up everything about Willy Wonka the way this movie does, its actually really impressive how many different ways they thought up to deill in the fact that this tour is beyond special. They even managed to give a very good idea of the 4 other children in such a short amount of time too. The kids are (guessing how to spell their names) Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Mike Teevee, Violet (consusing surname) and obviously Charlie Bucket.
When Charlie finally hit the lucky break you felt so happy for both him and his family, it almost seemed to say some sort of message considering he found it the minute he gave up while Veronica (the rich girl) had to open insane amounts to get one. There was also a creepy looking guy who despite not being in much of the movie was surisingly well acted. Either way it took 44 minutes for the titular Willy Wonka to appear and not a minute of it felt wasted. It honestly had to be really good though to even come close it the hype though.
Very first impression of Willy Wonka was that he was very careful with his words and yet seemed a bit of a child at heart, not sure how I managed to think that before he even entered the factory though the question was answered as soon as they did. Not only did Willy Wonka a very enjoyable character but the locations in the movie were things you definitely wish were real especially the candy room. Although there were obviously other things you watch the movie for.
First things first all the music in the movie is memorable and most of the scenes too, seeing how the other kids were weeded out was so satisfying considering how annoying they were (which is a good thing). I also loved how Willy Wonka couldn’t give a shit about said kids and simply got the Oompa Loompa’s to deal with them in hilarious ways while singing super catchy songs. Considering the sort of stuff Willy Wonka was capable of in the factory and the nature of some of the songs you couldn’t help but wonder if he had somehow chosen the kids beforehand. And holy shit, the boat scene is still as creepy as ever thanks mostly to his acting.
On top of that the movie seemed to have a lot of messages to kids as well which was cool, especially since they’re just as relevant today as they were back then. The ending was quite good as well even if you don’t actually see the rest of Charlie’s family since it’s mentioned the happily ever after extends to them. There was also a few more hints during the movie that Willy already knew everything that would happen.
Overall while the quality of the recording itself has aged a lot the enjoyable hasn’t dropped a bit, its still as memorable as it ever was. I personally like to think the movie had its name changed solely because of how good Gene Wilder’s acting was and I’m sure you’d agree. Feel free to suggest another movie that Gene Wilder stars in.
Links that support me
Buy it from Amazon.co.uk (the store also offers Willy Wonka’s top hat)
Buy it from Amazon.com (the digital version is apparently a best seller)