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THE WONDERFUL STORY OF HENRY SUGAR REVIEW: Benedict Cumberbatch and Ben Kingsley Illuminate the Magical Universe of Roald Dahl

THE WONDERFUL STORY OF HENRY SUGAR REVIEW: Story: Adapted from a Roald Dahl tale, the narrative revolves around an affluent man’s relentless pursuit of mastering the art of cheating at gambling, inspired by the extraordinary abilities of an Indian individual who could perceive without the use of eyes.


THE WONDERFUL STORY OF HENRY SUGAR REVIEW: Wes Anderson’s second adaptation of Roald Dahl’s work, ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,’ follows his beloved stop-motion film ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox.’ At its core, this film remains an endearing and heartwarming tale, enhanced by an inventive narrative that preserves the original story’s freshness.

The film’s storytelling gives the impression of witnessing a live theater performance in progress. A feast for the eyes, this short comedy delivers visual delight, as one would naturally anticipate from a Wes Anderson creation. With his characteristic visual flair, wit, and charisma, viewing the film is effortless, despite its concise 41-minute runtime.

The story commences with Roald Dahl, portrayed by Ralph Fiennes, preparing to embark on his writing journey and sharing his idiosyncrasies as a narrator. Shortly thereafter, we are introduced to Henry Sugar, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, a man of considerable wealth hailing from London. While visiting Sir Williams’ countryside estate, he stumbles upon a slim, azure tome in the library.


This book contains the tale of Imdad Khan, brought to life by Ben Kingsley, an Indian man blessed with the extraordinary ability to perceive without the use of his eyes. The narrative then delves into Imdad Khan’s life, as recounted by Dr. ZZ Chatterjee, portrayed by Dev Patel, exploring the development of Imdad’s unique gift of sight. Enchanted by Imdad’s prowess, Henry Sugar becomes resolute in mastering these skills through relentless practice, envisioning their application in London’s casinos to amass wealth. However, he soon discovers the inherent hollowness of riches, setting him on a different course.

In this short film, every character addresses the camera directly, serving as both narrator and character. Anderson takes the storytelling format a step further, ensuring that even the characters’ spoken words are primarily drawn from Dahl’s writings. Ultimately, the film surprises and delights, exceeding expectations with its sheer novelty in storytelling. Anderson’s distinctive approach to character narration, coupled with his fidelity to Dahl’s words, infuses the film with an enchanting authenticity. It offers a refreshing and captivating cinematic experience that surpasses initial anticipation.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar┬ástands out as a showcase of remarkable performances from every cast member. Benedict Cumberbatch, embodying Henry Sugar, delivers a stellar portrayal of a wealthy man driven by boredom and a thirst for adventure, reminiscent of his earlier role in “Patrick Melrose.” Dev Patel, in the role of Dr. ZZ Chatterjee, the civil hospital doctor from Calcutta, adds another feather to his cap with a superb performance. Ralph Fiennes assumes the role of Roald Dahl, with the film beginning as his character settles comfortably, ready to breathe life into the stories of Henry Sugar and Imdad Khan on paper.

It’s hard to imagine any other actor in this role. However, the short film undeniably belongs to Ben Kingsley, who masterfully embodies Imdad Khan, the man with the extraordinary gift of sight. While all the actors share a similar amount of screen time, Kingsley’s performance further solidifies his reputation as a captivating and skilled actor.

‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ is sheer delight, and its charm is impossible to resist. This film reinforces the fact that among contemporary directors, only Wes Anderson possesses the ability to translate his vision faithfully onto the screen. Anderson’s capacity to infuse his distinctive style and creativity into every frame of the film sets him apart as a genuine cinematic storyteller. ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ stands as a delightful testament to his directorial prowess.

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