I keep forgetting that the Wonka character has always been whimsical and silly, that his chocolate-making had always felt like a fever dream to me (in all iterations of the movie), and that I always hated that about him.

Now don’t get me wrong, Timothée Chalamet does a great job at this character – it’s just that the character rubs me the wrong way. Yes, you can argue that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was a children’s story, but I was the kind of child who always coloured a horse brown and never purple, so no, whimsy was not for me.

The movie was fine, the music was good, and so was the choreography. Wonka is not a romantic character (in the sense that this is not a romantic movie), so Timothée Chalamet’s charms could not be utilised to it’s fullest but Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa was fantastic.

But what ultimately gave the movie the extra star over a 3-star rating was the last 5 minutes of the movie.
After watching this movie for the past 1 hour and 50-something minutes, the familiar refrain of “Pure Imagination” plays and it was like, “finally!” (I know, they played a little bit of Pure Imagination in the intro, but you can’t really count that).

This song has always held a special place in my heart, not for any deep or meaningful reason, but just that its slightly sad undertones (as performed by Gene Wilder) grabbed me as a child and never really let go.

The 2023 version of Pure Imagination was not the same as the 1971 version, nor was I expecting that. But what I really liked about it was that this new version accurately reflected where Wonka was in his stage of life.
The 1971 version of Wonka was slightly jaded and lonely; he was at the end of his creative life and he wanted to find a successor to pass his factory to. As such, “Pure Imagination” was slightly haunting in its delivery.
In 2023, Wonka was only just starting his career with everything still ahead of him – this version of “Pure Imagination” (or at least the latter half of it) was fun and upbeat. It was just fantastic to watch and hear.

I completely admit that this review is biased, personal and completely influenced by the last scene in the movie. I don’t apologise for it. ❤️

Via Letterboxd – vishae

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