Christmas has been and gone and with the holiday season came a copy of the 1971 Roald Dahl adaptation of Willy Wonka. I grew up with this movie and I've watched it countless times as a child but never revisited it since. Owning it now has given me a reason to, and I'm so glad I did.
A young Peter Ostrum portrays Charlie Bucket whom lives in poverty with his hard working mother and four grandparents. After an announcement from the infamous Wonka factory hiding 5 golden tickets in packets of candy which entitle the winners a tour of Willy Wonka's factory and a liftime supply of chocolate to sole winner, people all over the world go bananas to find these tickets so that they may enter Wonka's factory.
The first stark observation I made with this film was how tongue in cheek the dialogue was. I never realized how snarky and sarcastic everyone was. It was brilliant, I was laughing at the lines delivered by the various characters trying to obtain tickets in an unruly fashion. I also really enjoyed the whole timing of the film, I found it to have a very even story arc with all acts of the film being as strong as each other which I find very rare with films. This is due to the brilliant script penned by Roald Dahl himself.
Before I continue however, I want to address the negatives of the film before I begin praising it once more. And the big negative here is that fizzy lemonade scene. This scene plain and simply should of been axed. It's an action scene which merely goes on for too long and does not flow with the way the story pans out. It's merely a gimmick scene which was thrown in to keep the younger ones in the audience awake. (Not that they should need it anyway.) The scene merely serves as a short lived outburst from Willy at the end which is resolved within 4 minutes and they lived happily ever after.
FURTHERMORE, this film is pretty much excellent on every other level and theres no real reason why you shouldn't watch this or have not watched it yet. Gene Wilder is absolutely brilliant and his entrance into the movie will be forever burned into my mind as just a simply charismatic moment. A young Peter Ostrum (which was his only film role ever) was a great portrayal of Charlie Bucket and melted my heart whenever he spoke. His voice is the actual one heard during the musical numbers also which is impressive. Jack Albertson also was extremely likable and very sweet as Grandpa Joe. Pretty much all the acting in this film worked.
While balancing a clever script about morals and life lessons, quirky and funny musical numbers, extremely solid acting across the board and upholding a reputation to the source material. It also helps that after 44 years this film still looks rather good. The Blu-ray transfer has helped the color palette become a lot more bright and crisp but even so the set design is very well done for it's time. The 'nerve centre' of the factory where poor Augustus meets his fate still gave me owl eyes to this day, it looked phenomenal and I really needed a piece of candy for some strange reason.
This film was enjoyed by me as a young boy because I had a sweet tooth and I enjoyed seeing people play with chocolate. I also liked the music that was nice to listen to. Fast forward 10+ years and this movie has impressed me on more than just the visuals. A true gem of a movie which can still be applied to children these days, whilst giving adults something to laugh at and for being one of the most unique productions of the modern film era. 'Good day sir!'
. Fantastic cast
. Great musical numbers
. Very witty and funny script
. Gene Wilder
. Classic film which holds up to this day
. The fizzy lemonade scene
. Slugworth's make up