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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Who Doesn’t Love Chocolate?

    Last week to celebrate a new school year, the Staller Center for Arts hosted ‘Movie Under the Stars.’ A large screen stood in front of the building and a projector showed Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The steps were packed with new and returning students enjoying an old favorite. Many cheered and clapped when Charlie found the golden ticket. This event might have been a rare opportunity to see this movie on the big screen and not on a TV.

    Willy Wonka is probably one of the most respected and beloved adaptations of a novel; popular author Roald Dahl wrote the children’s book. I, as many of you, loved this movie as a child and into adulthood. The characters, the set design, the situations, and the songs are so well remembered and appreciated, it is considered to have reached the status of cultural icon.

    Gene Wilder’s performance is so genuine it goes unmatched by Johnny Depp’s eccentric interpretation. Wilder’s great talent for comic delivery is a gem in the business. Director Mel Stuart’s projects had mostly been documentaries. His experience with nonfiction blends the boundaries of dreams and reality. The result is an isolated world of creativity and imagination rooted in Charlie’s home life of struggle and misfortune. Wonka himself initiates the golden ticket contest to prepare his own retirement because he was struggling to keep his wonder-world alive and thriving.

    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is the Wizard of Oz of the latter 20th century. Both movies and its principle characters express their hopes for a better life to come. For Charlie, ‘somewhere over the rainbow,’ is a candy factory. Just as Dorothy had to ‘follow the yellow brick road,’ Charlie had to ‘press on’ to reach the ultimate prize.

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