Film Review - Chocolat

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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CHOCOLAT Many movies today are not only created for the purpose of entertainment, but often carry a solid lesson the director wishes to convey. In the movie Chocolat (directed by Lasse Hallstorm), Vianne challenges the idea that the tradition, status and their associated moral values do not make a person morally right.

The story introduces Vianne Rocher, a travelling single mother who, with her six year old daughter, has the nerve to open a chocolaterie in a tranquil and religious French village called Lansquenet during Lent. This is much to the distaste and horror of the local mayor the Comte de Reynaud and various comfortably prudish villagers. The chocolaterie, filled with irresistible confections awakens the townspeople's hidden appetites. Vianne's magical ability to perceive the villager's personal desires, and satisfy them with just the right confection, slowly persuades a few to abandon themselves to her temptations. Vianne soon develops a eputation throughout the stronger minded townspeople, which is neither in the favor of the mayor nor his faithful group of traditional followers.

Revnaud is convinced that Vianne's luxurious chocolate will wreak havoc with the town and undermine their strict code of morality. A confrontation between those who would keep life the same and those who would revel in their newly discovered taste for freedom begins.

From her introduction, Vianne is set up as the nemesis of custom: wearing a red hooded cloak, she is blown into town by the "sly wind" from the North and then continues to dress revealing and radically teasing the townsfolk and viewers alike. Yet her warm bright clothes immediately give the impression of kindness and love compared to the dark, dull grey lifeless background of the town. As she opens her Chocolaterie for business, some of the more weak-minded towns people find themselves indulging in her...