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The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

Is Wonka Actually Good, or is Timothee Chalamet Just Hot?

Illustration+of+Hollywood+actor+and+icon+Timothee+Chalamet.+Chalamet+recently+starred+as+Willy+Wonka+in+the+hit+movie%2C+Wonka%2C+a+musical+prequel+to+Charlie+and+the+Chocolate+Factory.+Illustration+by+Harper+Nelson-Wooley.%0A
Harper Nelson-Wooley
Illustration of Hollywood actor and icon Timothee Chalamet. Chalamet recently starred as Willy Wonka in the hit movie, Wonka, a musical prequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Illustration by Harper Nelson-Wooley.

     Slack-jawed, awe-struck, eyes-peeled. I could be describing two groups of people: children in a candy shop and Timothee Chalamet fans watching him portray Willy Wonka. Chalamet’s fanbase mimics children whose mouths water at the sight of colorful confections. The real question is, what lengths would those children go to see candy? And what concessions would Chalamet’s fanbase make in the quality of his projects to see him perform?

     On December 15, 2023, British director Paul King released Wonka, a musical prequel to Roald Dahl’s childhood classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The production starred French-American actor Timothee Chalamet as Willy Wonka, the eccentric chocolate factory owner. 

     Teenage girls (Chalamet’s main fan base) flooded social media after the release of the movie, leaving thousands of reviews praising both the movie itself and the leading actor. Chalamet is widely perceived as a heartthrob, especially in recent years with the releases of Little Women and Dune.

     According to the 136 surveyed Shorecrest upper schoolers, 46.3% claim to find Timothee Chalamet attractive. 15.4% respondents reported “it’s complicated,” many offering explanations like “only in Little Women” or “only when he speaks French.”

     While Wonka is colorful and silly, and Chalamet has been repeatedly recognized for his acting, there are certain aspects of the movie that beg the question: is Wonka actually good?

     “The characters of color were, once again, being made the villain or being mistreated, which follows the classic role of a person of color in most movies. However, the fact that Timothee Chalamet is attractive made the movie better,” said sophomore Sonia Anderson.

     In addition, American actor Keegan-Michael Key plays the Chief of Police, who continuously puts on weight as a source of comedy. This reduces his character’s entire personality to his weight, which appears neither comedic nor relevant. Other valid issues have been pointed out by Wonka viewers, but they have been overlooked because of the leading actor—Chalamet.

     Chalamet’s singing in the film was also heavily autotuned, detracting from the film’s authenticity. Why cast an actor who can’t sing as the lead character in a musical? All signs point towards Chalamet being cast solely to attract viewers.  

     Sophomore Alex Cirino said, “I don’t think that I would have even gone to see the movie, let alone enjoyed it, without Timothee Chalamet playing Willy Wonka.”

     Senior Sasha Schratwieser, who does not find Chalamet attractive, said that she has no desire to see Wonka: “I’m not particularly interested in the movie, and there’s no actor that I really like in the movie either.”

     Wonka may have attracted numerous viewers by casting Chalamet, however his appeal does not offset the film’s flaws concerning plot lines, racial stereotypes, and more. Chalamet lovers and haters alike have recognized Wonka as lackluster, forcing one obvious fact to the surface: Wonka isn’t that good, Timothee Chalamet is just hot.

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Phoebe Pritchard, Staff Writer
Harper Nelson-Wooley
Harper Nelson-Wooley, Staff Writer
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