Chocolat (2000) Review

When Vianne and her daughter move into a small French village and open a chocolate shop, you won’t believe how much it affects the town and the people struggling to resist the temptation.

I am pretty sure that I have attempted to watch this film before, but for some reason did not give it a chance. Maybe I thought it was a little different to how it actually ended up? Anyway thanks to Netflix UK I can now add this to my watched list. Can’t deny that it has a very good leading cast as well as some supporting members as well which really does help the film flow and some very good performances as well. Juliette Binoche really did impress me in the leading role and keeps you engaged from start to finish.

Who would really think that a chocolate shop opening would really cause such a stir in the small village. But Vianne does not just make the chocolates she uses them to help people and guess what they really want. I guess that will seem a little strange but when you see how many good things she manages to do and help so many different people for different reasons you cannot help but to admire her and smile with how nice the film is.

Add in Judi Dench as her old landlady who does not speak to her daughter and therefore is neglected from seeing her grandson, not any longer when the chocolate shop manages to bring them together. She ends up mellowing (a little bit) thanks to her new tenant. It takes quite a long time for Johnny Depp to enter the film as the very mysterious traveller who is frowned upon with his people by everyone but Vianne in the village. Again I am sure it all sounds a bit crazy but somehow it really does work. Depp is at his very best in the looks department in this one as well, I had to put that out there for all the female readers. Not that he isn’t hot anyway.

The Mayor has different ideas for keeping everyone in the village “sin” free and making sure the services at church every Sunday meet his standards. It seems as though he would be very happy to brainwash the people into thinking they cannot have fun or live a little bit. Played brilliantly by Alfred Molina, who really does bring a good depth to the role.

I guess one major problem that has to be mentioned about the film is that while it is a French village no one really speaks French or has much of an accent? I’m pretty sure Depp was Irish? I stopped trying to guess really as I am pretty sure Dench was just Dench? Not that it really matter in all honesty, the acting was good enough with the nice storyline. A little bit of romance and reminding everyone not to live in fear and really appreciate everything you have around you. Some smaller parts of the story make a very big difference as well, having the power to stand up to someone instead of living your life in fear. So with a pretty straight forward film, we get some very good points that are quite heavy at times.

Am I allowed to add that maybe chocolate is the answer for people to be really happy? Only if you had chilli powder of course that seemed to help a lot for this village. It is about finding yourself as well and being happy in one place. I would certainly place this as a hidden gem currently on Netflix UK – it does have some good quality films on every now and then!

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