Books and Movies Reviews

Bitter to Sweet: An Analysis of the film, “Chocolat”

The implicit theme within the film, “Chocolat,” can be summed up as “hope.” The main character, Vianne, is a French drifter who brings her daughter with her traveling across Europe. She comes across a little village in France that is highly religious and very set in their beliefs. Throughout the movie, she is put to the test through not only fighting her own personal battles but also through conflicting with many people of the town. By the end of the film, however, her perseverance wins out, and she wins the respect of the town. When shefirst moves to the village, she knows absolutely no one and begins to open a chocolate shop, which she is very good at. Unfortunately, this is during the village’s Lent and is thought to be an abomination in light of their beliefs, and she is scorned by many. It takes great fortitude to get through the struggles, but, eventually, she not only conquers her internal and personal conflicts and helps out others along the way, she presents the town with something they had never encountered before, and it changes their ways. The film’s climax involves the rigid, judgmental mayor. Prior to the climax, one by one, the townspeople start to break down in their Lent resolutions and give into their own temptations. The mayor, however, has held strong and staunchly opposed to such weakness. During the climax, however, the mayor goes to the chocolate shop in the night and attempts to wreck her front display of chocolate. As he does this, though, he, himself, falls prey to the temptation of the chocolate and begins to sample it which quickly turns to gorging, and that is where he is found, cover by Vianne, the owner, the next morning, but only after the priest had walked by and saw him.
Two of the most poignant characters are Vianne, the shop owner, and the mayor of the town. Vianne, plays the part of a round character; she is the definition of three-dimensional, and she is constantly surprising the audience …

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