Review of "The Chocolate War", adapted from Robert Cormier's novel of the same name, discusses Jerry's problems and how he overcomes them.

Essay by steady__eddieHigh School, 10th gradeA, August 2003

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The film The Chocolate War, adapted from Robert Cormier's novel of the same name; apart from the ending, is an appealing drama focusing on young Jerry Renault (Ilan Mitchell-Smith), a freshman at the ironically religious Catholic boys' school, Trinity High. The film is directed by Keith Gordon and he presents Trinity as a microcosm, which is the main setting of the film. Set in America in the 1980s, The Chocolate War was shot in a seminary at St Edwards State Park in Bothell, in Washington. Trinity is ruled by an insidious gang of senior students, the bullies of the school, the Vigils. Assisted by the corrupt stand-in head of the school, Brother Leon (John Glover) the Vigils set 'assignments' for the students to carry out. The Chocolate War demonstrates what can happen when the veracity of the individual is sacrificed to the power of the system.

In the opening scene, the typical Hollywood-style opening of a full-on shot of the main character to make him/her stand out is sacrificed for a more blocked view of the surroundings. The dried, weedy brown grass of a football playing field is shown in a medium close-up shot; showing nothing whatsoever of the surroundings, time or the characters. This leaves the viewer with a sense of blindness and bewilderment. The colours, costumes and setting are portrayed in a drab and 'washed out' tone. The colour is gloomy and the music is sombre as Yaz's 'In My Room' is played, backed by The Lord's Prayer. The music, especially the Yaz song, with its slow dirge-like rhythm, helps portray the dark and gloomy nature of the film, and with The Lord's Prayer played in an ironic tone, helps add to the use of irrelevant use of religious symbolism which...