This is not an easy question to answer.
I couldn't help watching the movie from a chocolatier's point of view rather than just a movie-goer. I saw things in the movie maybe others may not pick on, which meant I found it hard not to analyse it as it went along. I tried to just enjoy it but I found that impossible to do. I want to explain the good and bad, although they are sort of interweaved.
So in general the film is ok. There are some boring bits. The acting is excellent, the songs are feel-good, there is an ample amount of humour and 'goodies and baddies' as needed in blockbuster movies.
There is definitely not enough chocolate in my opinion and this is a huge problem and what contributed to the majority of my disappointment. In the original film, the chocolates were described with passion and delight. The children looked upon them as Mr Wonka held them up, with mouths watering and eyes wide. As a viewer, I could easily imagine the flavours of these fantastical creations and I wanted to eat them all! In this version, it was more about what the chocolates did rather than their gorgeous flavour. This is an example of good and bad mixed. Bad because I wanted more chocolate, more description, more salivating, but good because it showed perfectly what chocolate does. It lifts you up, it's social, it brings people together, it's talked about, it's connected to memories. Handmade artisan chocolate is more than a product. This definteily comes across.
I liked that it mentioned the chocolate 'Cartel'. It delves into chocolate originally being for the rich only. The mere mention of the word 'poor' sends some of the characters into melt-down! It shows how the big chocolate companies own and control the industry making it virtually impossible for anyone to penetrate. We can see real life examples in this with Tony's Chocolonely, versus Mondelez (Cadburys), Mars and Nestle.
The other element which struck a cord with me was the Oompa Loompa, played by Hugh Grant, and the main source of comedic element.
Just a single Oompa Loompa in this movie. The Oompa Loompa's are representative of the African slaves and white supremacy. Wonka, without a doubt portrays this the best. It's brief, but the message of 'you came and took what was ours' and then benefited financially does come across. As a chocolatier I feel very uncomfortable with this image and message, as still, not enough is done about child labour in cocoa farming. The amount of money that Europe makes from a commodity that is farmed by people not earning nearly as much as they should is not spoken about enough. It honestly made me feel guilty that as someone in the chocolate industry I also do not do enough. I want to do more in 2024 and talk about this to my chocolate community.
talkling about the new Wonka hot chocolate from Knoops,
released to celbrate the new movie, it actually reminds the writer of the original movie. There are no references to the new movie at all. I strongly feel it's because the new movie lacks the magic and deliciousness of chocolate, that should be at the core of the new movie. The original Gene Wilder movie carried everything required to make it an iconic movie. Wonka tries its hardest but unfortunately it just doesnt quite hit the mark.