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The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

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Wonka: The Emergence of Chalamet’s Inner Chocolatier

Vanessa Marin-Ixlan

Taking their own spin on Roald Dahl’s classroom favorite “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” director Paul King and star Timothée Chalamet promise for their production of “Wonka” to be innovative, brilliant, and absolutely nutty. Releasing Dec. 15th, the film follows the titular character throughout his journey in creating the world’s greatest chocolate factory.

Described as “a celebration of being off-center and of being OK with the weirder parts of you that don’t quite fit in,” by King, the film aims to develop a tragic backstory for the peculiar Willy Wonka, and to inspire the audience to reach for their own dreams. Even though King has mentioned that this movie serves as a prequel to “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971), starring Gene Wilder, the movie seems to diverge from its predecessor’s slightly chilling rendition with a more heartfelt, coming-of-age spirit. 

“To work on something that will have an uncynical young audience, that was just a big joy,” King told Vogue. “In a time and climate of intense political rhetoric, when there’s so much bad news all the time, this is hopefully going to be a piece of chocolate.”

The movie follows Willy Wonka through his early days as an eccentric chocolatier and his rise to fame, as teased in the film’s two released trailers. The backgrounds seen in the trailer, mixing both steampunk and whimsical elements, brim with brass knob-studded wooden briefcases, dramatic lighting, and staple clothing items like the iconic maroon coat, fall in with the typical “Willy Wonka” characters as previously represented by Johnny Depp (in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) and Wilder. The contrast between Wonka’s bizarre wardrobe choices and the sepia tones of the rest of the movie emphasize Wonka’s quirks and foreshadow the revolution he brings forth of chocolate making. 

The casting of Chalamet to play Willy Wonka garnered a mass of controversy and skepticism about his performance, as many critics questioned if he was miscast for the role. However, despite the multitude of scathing comments deeming him unworthy, it is clear Chalamet thrives in embodying characters with high levels of emotion that “Wonka” entails, as seen in Chalamet’s roles in “Lady Bird” and “Call Me By Your Name.” With the new direction that King is taking in this prequel, Chalamet seems to be a perfect fit as he engages the audience by portraying multiple shades of human emotions. One thing that remains a mystery is whether the actor will be able to successfully pull off the eccentricity of Willy Wonka, as he is not traditionally known for exaggerated expressions in his portrayals.

With this new take on a classic story, “Wonka” aims to re-establish itself from it’s predecessors by casting a new, wholesome light on a historically eerie character. With its divergence from the original plot and full creative freedom, the film promises to be a refreshing watch for all audiences. 

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About the Contributors
Nandita Bussa
Nandita Bussa, Staff Writer
Passionate about writing and journalism, Nandita grew up reading a variety of books that inspired her to have the dream to someday publish her own. As a sophomore staff writer this year, journalism is a way to express herself and develop unique writing styles. She holds a special personality of being extroverted and a little nerdy. Her friends describe her as a friend who is non-judgemental, trustworthy, and a shoulder to lean on. In her free time, she loves to play volleyball, watch '90s Rom-coms and K-dramas, and listen to fun boy band music, such as One Direction, BTS, and Queen. She also enjoys watching all kinds of movies, such as Titanic, Mean Girls, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Breakfast Club, and Disney Movies like Hercules and Anastasia, while being interested in a variety of Greek Mythology. Adding on, she also likes historical musicals such as Hamilton, Newsies, and Six, and she has a fierce taste for food, loving spicy Indian food and Indochinese food.
Vanessa Marin-Ixlan
Vanessa Marin-Ixlan, Staff Artist
A new part of Gamut’s staff this year, Vanessa Marin-Ixlan is currently a junior that is excited to take on her role as an illustrator. Vanessa joined the school’s newspaper to experience a more professional work environment and work with other talented illustrators. She has loved drawing ever since she was a kid, starting off with sketches of magical dragons and later making her way into comics. Full of creativity and expression, Vanessa’s dream is to become a comic artist and create her own comic books in the future, so she is truly ecstatic to see her illustrations being printed on paper. Along with drawing, Vanessa enjoys theology, poetry, biology, and animals. She can often be found going on walks or lounging and reading scientific papers. Excited for the year ahead of her, Vanessa is looking forward to getting to know her fellow staff members and meeting people that have similar interests to her.
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