Wonka’s World of Pure Imagination Premieres at Malden Public Library

On April 11, 2024, The Malden Public Library hosted a screening of director Paul King’s 2023 rendition of the classic movie “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, directed by Mel Stuart, “Wonka”. While Stuart’s prequel focuses on Charlie Bucket’s ambitious attempt to win the chance to visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, King’s film focuses on Wonka’s (played by Timothée Chalamet) journey of following his dream of changing the world through his delicious treats. Wonka’s love for chocolate originated from his childhood when his chocolatier mother introduced it to him.

After the unfortunate death of his mother, Wonka was inspired to travel to Europe and open his chocolate shop. Throughout the movie, the audience is introduced to the staggering scenery of the various locations in which the movie was filmed, including the British Isles, a group of islands off the northwest coast of Europe. These islands are formed by two European countries, England and Ireland. With the help of British Composer Joby Talbot, who also worked on globally recognized movies such as Sing 1 and 2, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (2011), King presented various songs easily engraved in the audience's memories. While the film brought back classics from Stuart’s original films such as “Pure Imagination” and “Oompa Loompa”, King introduced nine new pieces sung by Timothée Chalamet and the entire cast including “A World of Your Own”, the song that Wonka sings as he introduces the public to the skeptical that is his chocolate shop, and “A Hatful of Dreams”, the musical number sung by Wonka as he sails his way to Europe and celebrates following his mother’s footsteps in becoming a chocolatier.

After being tricked by the antagonists of the film, Mrs. Scrubit and Mr. Bleacher, Wonka is forced to work for the greedy couple to pay off his debt. While working, Wokna meets and befriends protagonist Noodle, played by Canah Lane. While Wonka tries to find a way free of Scrubit and Bleacher’s sanctuary, the other chocolatiers competing with Wonka bribe a police officer to arrest Wonka, but this attempt is unsuccessful. To ensure that Wonka and Noodle can no longer compete with him, chocolatier Arthur Slugworth sends them down a laundry shute. Fortunately, with the help of the Oompa Loompa, Wonka and Noodle are freed. Finally, the greedy chocolatiers are all arrested, and Wonka can live his chocolatier dream. 

The combination of beautiful scenery, entertaining music, and an action-packed plot not only made for an entertaining event at The Malden Public Library, but also across all theatres around the world, and streaming services including Max (formerly known as HBO Max), and Hulu. Although the film was recently released in December of 2023, it has already been greatly appreciated as it reached ninety-nine percent in rotten tomatoes, one hundred-twenty-five million dollars at the box office, and only 10 weeks after had earned $604.9 million worldwide. This film has reached great accomplishments, and with the help of streaming services, and does not seem like the success will stop anytime soon.

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