My Cultural Diet

429 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info). Star ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links, which support Opus.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Quite a few years have passed since my last viewing of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, so when my daughter suggested it for our movie date night, I naturally agreed. It’s still a classic in every way, thanks to the delightful songs, Charlie Bucket’s wide-eyed sense of wonder, and of course, Gene Wilder’s perfect performance as the titular Wonka. This time around, though, I was struck by the movie’s inherently tragic nature as it depicts a child’s final moments of innocence before he becomes the ward of the world’s greatest candy maker, yes, but also a madman. (In my headcanon, the tunnel boat ride is actually a journey through the dark side of Wonka’s mind, a manifestation of all of the repressed darkness that makes his confectionary genius possible.) The film’s most chilling line comes at the very end when Wonka reveals that he picked a child to take over his candy empire because “a grown up would want to do everything his own way, not mine.” So now, poor sweet, innocent Charlie is doomed to hear all of Wonka’s “most precious candy making secrets,” thus ensuring that the cycle of madness will continue. So yeah, a classic film in every way.


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