Yes. This is the Good One.
I know, right? We could barely believe it ourselves. It doesn't feel like a 70's movie. I'm sure if you sat down and analyzed it stylistically, you could tie it into the 70's very nicely. The psychadelic style, the pacing, the portrayal of children and family. I believe it. But something about this movie makes it feel much...
"It feels older," said Paul.
"I disagree," countered Shirley, "It feels much more recent than 1970."
The argument continued for a minute or so, when it dawned on me exactly what was happening.
"Guys," I said. "We're watching a timeless movie."
Willy Wonka has survived its era, and continues to be present in young people's minds as a movie worth watching. But what exactly elevates the film from quirky kids movie to family classic? We investigated the movie with plenty of booze in tow, because as Mr. Wonka is quick to remind us, "candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."
"Willy Wonka and the Vodka Factory": The Rules
Really, though, you can drink anything sweet for this game. Get creative. There's a plethora of candy cocktails out there for you to try!
1. Drink for Title Drops. For easy mode, that's every time someone says the word "Wonka"
2. Drink when they drink.
3. Drink for Daddy Issues.
4. Drink when someone eats something sweet.
5. Drink when someone becomes hysterical. That's practically page one in the Gene Wilder book of acting!
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink for Title Drops: For Medium Mode, that's every time someone says the word "chocolate". Yeah, you can see where this is going.
2. Drink for Song Title Drops. Yup. It's a musical.
3. Drink whenever a child is endangered.
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Title Drops: For Hard Mode, that's every time someone says the word "factory".
2. Drink when someone makes an exclamation of some kind. Like "Gee!" or "Wow!"
Some Guy: He's just here for the candy (Medium)
Flux: Resident ice cream expert (Medium)
With drinks in our hands and sugarplums in our heads, we began the game. The movie was not as good as we remembered. It was even better.
I wager that at least 75% of our title drop drinks occurred in the first half of the movie. The film takes place in a world that is very much like our own, except that children and adults alike are obsessed with chocolate. Consider this: the grand prize for the golden ticket holders is a lifetime supply of chocolate. There's no cash involved, nothing you could trade in for cash value, so why would the adults be as consumed with finding the tickets as the children are? Chocolate has THAT HIGH a stock in this world, specifically WONKA'S chocolate, to the point where grown men and women are building high tech robots to find these pieces of paper. Not for children's sake, most of the time. For their OWN.
One of the first scenes of the movie involves Charlie observing the factory from a distance. A suspicious man tells him that the factory's been abandoned. "Nobody ever comes in. Nobody ever comes out." A chilling thought in itself. But what's this guy doing here in the first place?
"He's just a guy selling knives outside a chocolate factory," Some Guy assured us.
Yeah. Knives. No big deal.
The producers of this movie were trying really hard to make the film bright, energized and frenzied. They were trying to sell candy. But they couldn't eradicate Dahl's bleak view of the world, and that makes it seem even darker. Charlie's family is living in absolute squalor. They can't afford to buy chocolate for their son. How can they afford to feed themselves and pay rent? This is made worse by the fact that nobody living near them seems to have this problem.
Maybe it's just because of the four invalids sharing a bed while Momma Bucket does all the work.
The Man Himself
Willy Wonka doesn't show up until over halfway through this movie, about forty-five minutes in. Once Wilder comes on screen, it is impossible to keep your eyes off of him. Unlike the 2005 remake, not much is revealed about Wonka's past, and little is said about him as a person. It doesn't matter. Through Wilder's portrayal, we learn everything we need to know.
From the beginning, we know that Wonka can handle himself in front of a crowd. He's cordial in front of the press, and in front of the parents. Once he gets the kids inside the factory, he continues to be professional. The difference is that they're in his world now, and they're playing by his rules.
Take a look at the "Pure Imagination" scene for a second.
From the first note, Wonka makes it clear that his guests are at his mercy. He does not allow them to move without his say so. He toys with them, confuses them, blocks their movement and narrows their focus. When he finally lets them have free reign of the chocolate room, he wanders about showing them secret catches of candy. He is master of his domain. He knows everything and is everywhere.
Then, at the end of the song, he sits down, takes off his hat, and surveys the rest of the children having fun. His voice becomes softer, he becomes more ponderous, you sense his feelings of isolation and loneliness. And then it hits you. Willy Wonka is still overcome with the feelings of being a lonely child.
"Willy Wonka just wants a friend who may or may not be twelve," Flux observed. And it's true: for all his show, Wonka set up this entire thing to find the perfect playmate. Along the way, he realizes he let some bullies into the factory and punishes them in the way that he sees fit.
Our Main Course
Guess it just goes to show you can't compete with pure imagination.
A Beef with the Chocolate
"Why would you make a piece of candy that only needs to be bought once ever?" Shirely exclaimed.
Later, when Mike TV meets his unfortunate demise, we encountered another problem.
"Wonka," Shirley said. "You invented a machine that turns giant chocolate bars into really tiny ones."
Yeah, that doesn't seem very smart to me at all. Wonka must be saving a ton of money by hiring undocumented Oompa Loompas.
Drink whenever you feel uncomfortable.
Depending on how much of a psychopath you are, this rule can make or break you. Plenty of disturbing stuff in this movie. It's up to you to find your threshold.
Drink whenever Wonka drops a famous line.
I counted at least five iconic pieces of dialogue that are FROM this movie. I had no idea before watching it again. See if you can spot them all.
Drink whenever a major character is introduced, and drink when that major character is dismissed.
This might be enough to tip this game into dangerous territory. I'll leave it up to you to define what a "major" character is.
Thanks for reading! We'll be back next week with another great game. What movie are we watching next week? You know...I've quite forgotten.
For Your Inebriation is written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). Video footage is taken by Pooh Daddy (Vincent Graham) and edited by Seb (Amy Yourd). All "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" images are owned by Paramount