Chocolat This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Although the close-up scenes of sumptuous chocolates are enough to make you drool, whatmakes "Chocolat" great is its ability to take you out of the theaterand put you into the lives of its characters.

Based on Joanne Harris'sbook, "Chocolat" is the touching story of Vianne (Juliette Binoche) andher daughter, Anouk (Victoire Thivisol) as they try to make a living in a piousFrench town. Unfortunately, their business is a chocolaterie that opens at thebeginning of Lent. The mayor, the Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina), is quick tocondemn Vianne because she doesn't go to church. Since the entire town isdevoutly Catholic, Vianne has few customers.

The struggle between theComte and Vianne is the main storyline. There are many subplots around the livesof the customers who eventually frequent the shop, including Josefine (LenaOlin), a shy woman living with a tyrannical husband.

Another is theromance between Vianne and Roux (Johnny Depp), a "river rat" whotravels from town to town with his gang on a houseboat. They are not welcomed inthe community, who refuses them service and shelter. Only Vianne treats them withrespect. The relationship between them is my favorite part of themovie.

"Chocolat" has an incredible soundtrack. The first pieceis a recurring melody that accompanies Vianne and Anouk's travels each time thenorth wind blows. Other pieces are folk dance music provided by Roux and hisband. Playing guitar, Depp shows his musical talent. The music is happy andenergetic.

The natural, realistic relationships between the charactersaffect the way you feel while watching the movie. Vianne shows kindness andunderstanding toward Josefine and Roux, but the townspeople avoid them. WhenJosefine comes to Vianne after running away from her abusive husband, you senseher happiness and nervous excitement at doing something she was afraid to do.Vianne offers her shelter, and protects her from her husband.

JulietteBinoche is well suited to the role of Vianne. She portrays emotions very wellwithout extravagant facial expressions. Johnny Depp has a roguish look that workswell for his role.

Teenagers and adults alike will enjoy this moviebecause of the great story and unique characters. "Chocolat" is a trulydelicious movie. Go on and indulge yourself!




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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