(Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)
(“Wonka” trailer courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)
Sometimes, the Hollywood system seems to promote entertainers who might not possess the talent that others possess.
Often, people on the outside wonder why certain people get promoted as superstars, while more talented aspiring entertainers do not get the credit they deserve.
But with Timothee Chalamet, Hollywood got it right because he is one of the most talented young actors in the game with all the versatility needed to succeed in virtually any type of role.
With the musical “Wonka,” Chalamet showcases the broad range of his talent even if singing is not at the top of the list when it comes to his wide-ranging skillset.
In “Wonka,” Willie Wonka (Chalamet) is like many people, young and old.
Although life might present options, some people know that they were put on Earth for one purpose.
Many people will say a person should not put all their eggs in one basket.
But as the late, great Kobe Bryant said, instead of getting a plan B, just get a new basket if the original basket breaks.
In a lot of ways, Willie is like Kobe.
He does not want to get a regular job.
He does not want to try a new trade.
He does not want to discover any new talents.
In “Wonka,” all Willie wants to do is create the world’s best chocolate.
He has dreams of opening his own chocolate shop that will change the game forever.
However, with every dream comes dream killers.
In every business venture, there is competition.
And in every industry, there are gate-keepers and powerbrokers determined to maintain the status quo, even if it is just chocolate candy.
Despite the haters, Willie is determined to press on and fulfill his dream because his dream keeps him connected with his beloved mother.
In “Wonka,” Willie’s mother made the best chocolate that he ever tasted, and he wants to continue her legacy by sharing his mother’s chocolate blessings with the masses.
But the thing about blessings is that sometimes wolves can hide behind sheep’s clothing making it that much harder to get to one’s ultimate destination.
When Willie arrives at the location that he wants to set up shop in, he does not have any money for lodging and other necessities.
To add insult to injury, it is snowing.
However, Willie is so determined to make his dreams come true that he is willing to sleep outside in the elements just so that he could be closer to seeing his wishes fulfilled.
Thankfully, he finds someone willing to give him refuge for the night.
All Willie must do to get out of the snowy conditions is sign an agreement.
That does not seem too unreasonable because many hotels require their guests to sign paperwork during their stay on the premises.
However, one of the hotel’s occupants Noodle (Calah Lane) advises Willie to read the fine print in the contract before signing.
As a result, Willie looks over the documents quickly and determines that everything is on the up and up.
In “Wonka,” Willie is so anxious to present his chocolates to the world the next day that he will not let any small or large print get in the way of his big day.
However, things do not always go as planned.
And when Willie does not do as well selling his chocolate as he thought he would, he finds himself in dire straits when it comes to his lodging agreement with Mrs. Scrubbit (Olivia Colman).
To make matters worse, Willie discovers that he is battling more outside forces than he initially thought when it comes to fulfilling his chocolate covered dreams.
“Wonka” is one of two musicals that moviegoers should undoubtedly see over the 2023 holiday season.
However, “Wonka” is unequivocally something a little more universal than its musical counterpart, “The Color Purple.”
The story is something suitable for all ages and is definitely something that young dreamers should watch.
Unfortunately, when compared to “The Color Purple,” the remake of the 1985 Steven Spielberg film is in another category and that is no slight to “Wonka.”
It is just Chalamet cannot compete musically with the talents of Fantasia Barrino, H.E.R, Tamela Mann and Taraji P. Henson.
Moreover, those ladies from “The Color Purple” have more emotional range in their dramatic acting chops probably because of real life hardship as is the case for Barrino who could pull from some of her own trials and tribulations.
But other than Henson, none of those ladies have the range, as far as genres are concerned, that Chalamet has.
The young star has not really delivered a bad performance yet.
Furthermore, his best years as a thespian are to come.
Nevertheless, Chalamet is not the only young thespian to shine in “Wonka.”
In “Wonka,” Lane almost makes the musical her own.
She has enough acting chops to go toe-to-toe with Chalamet.
However, she does so in an adorable, but not hundred percent innocent way.
Although Noodle is young, she has seemingly dealt with more snakes than the older, but not wiser, Willie Wonka.
Another little star from “Wonka” is the miniature Hugh Grant who plays Oompa-Loompa.
Along with Lane, Grant gives Chalamet a run for his money as well.
But even though some of his co-stars match his performance in “Wonka,” the musical is all about Chalamet and his wide-range of gifts.
And though Hollywood sometimes forces “stars” down consumers’ throats, nothing of the sort is needed for Chalamet whose star continues to burn up the Hollywood skies.