🔥🔥🔥 Chocolat Analysis
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French Analysis of Chocolat (1998)
She does nothing which could not be achieved by purely ordinary means. Her magic, working as it does through simple pleasures, is accessible to everyone. If she is a witch, as Reynaud believes, then so is anyone else with similar values. We live in a world which is becoming increasingly complicated around us; we are bombarded with mixed messages and impossible targets from the media; like Reynaud we have learned to demonize pleasure and to be afraid of our feelings.
There are no real heroes or villains in Chocolat. Even Reynaud, with his intransigence and his dark past, is more of a victim than an oppressor. Nor is the Catholic church the villain of the piece; Reynaud uses his own interpretation of Catholicism to enforce his own agenda of control and self-denial. Vianne does the same in a gentler way, but she too has preconceptions and prejudices, and like Reynaud, she is a victim of her past. I see Vianne and Reynaud as two sides of a single coin; closer in terms of their background, their fears and their struggle for dominance than anyone else in the story. To me the real difference between them is that Vianne is a mother, whereas Reynaud, ironically, is a Father only in name.
For in Chocolat it is love, and not faith, which ultimately holds the key to salvation. Reynaud fears love and pleasure, which he equates with sin , whereas Vianne embraces it and encourages its free expression. Because of her love for her daughter Vianne must try to exorcize her past; Reynaud is condemned to relive it in sterile isolation. But no-one in this story is beyond redemption; Vianne and Reynaud are both forced to confront their demons in the end, and I like to think that they both learn something about themselves in the process, and are both able at last to rejoin the human race.
Here are some pictures I took on set …. It has been sweetened to some extent, and simplified to meet the needs of a cinema audience, but I think the adaptation is fair and remains close in spirit, if not always in detail, to the book. Most importantly, it is immensely enjoyable — if the book has a message, then it is that enjoyment matters — and although readers may feel that the film occasionally lacks edge, I think it more than makes up for it in simple charm. The ensemble of the cast is wonderful; with Juliette Binoche a luminous Vianne; Judi Dench a tetchy Armande with a dirty laugh; Alfred Molina a hulking, intense but oddly vulnerable Reynaud.
The visuals are stunning, especially the interiors — you can almost smell the chocolate — and the inclusion of a Mayan fairytale backstory works very well alongside the 50s French nostalgia. As adaptations go, this seems to me to be a sensitive and faithful one; certainly not as dark as the book, but I like milk chocolate too. For more on the filming of Chocolat, see my Telegraph article from January And here are some of the images from this wonderful performance. Introduction Chocolat begins with the arrival in a tiny French village of Vianne Rocher, a single mother with a young daughter, on Shrove Tuesday.
Background My daughter was three when I wrote Chocolat. Chocolat on Hackwriters. Ballet Chocolat. You know about the film, but did you know there was a ballet, too? The film ended with Vianne and her daughter settling down in the town for the first time, instead of moving on with the north wind and the town was changed forever. This film was based in France and the majority of the film was shot in the village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain in Burgundy, France.
The language that was spoken in the film was English with a strong French accent. There were some French words throughout the film and all the names such as the people, the village, and the businesses were French. There were several messages that the filmmakers were trying to communicate. One of these messages was that stereotypes are not always correct. According to the book, Communication Between Cultures, when people are confronted with a lack of familiarity or similarity, they.
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