Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory ★★★★½

Willy Wonka is a film I remember fondly from my younger years but upon revisiting it, I realized how.... bizarre it is.

Theoretically, this really shouldn't work as a kid's movie. The character of Willy Wonka is a cruel task master that takes joy in watching our line up of brats fuck themselves over and the infamous boat scene traumatized a number of unfortunate children.

And yet it all somehow does.

The late great Gene Wilder performs Wonka with effortless charm and a deadpan attitude that makes him a joy to watch on screen. He practically steals the movie especially with his classic musical number "Pure Imagination."

That's not to say the rest of the movie isn't great.

The musical numbers, apart from the oompa loompas songs, are very relaxed and rely more on the imagery of the lyrics. If anything, it shows that you don't need overblown choreography to direct a memorable musical number. It's filled with hilarious comedic touches like when Wonka mutters to Mr. Salt, "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker." It's just a flat out delight to the eyes and ears.

The whole production feels like pure, unfettered imagination.

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