Chocolat (2000)

Chocolat Movie Review

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Chocolat Movie Review

Chocolat is a 2000 romantic drama film directed by Lasse Halstrom and starring Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp and Judy Dench. It is a charming flick.

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Very good… but not my favorite

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Chocolat Movie Review

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I did enjoy this film quite a bit despite its many deficiencies. It truly is a charming, wonderfully light-hearted and genuinely endearing film and there is no denying that. Its romance is subtle and fine, but I loved that it wasn’t all that romantic which I expected and the classification into romantic comedy is quite wrong with this one.

It is basically a drama with some comedic and romantic elements, but it is mostly a family drama that is very simplistic and although it deals with a very interesting premise, it is also problematic. In portraying the troublesome relationship between religion and food, the movie succeeded a lot. But they should have explored the opposite side of over-indulging in the food pleasures and the movie is quite irresponsible in that regard. But at least it showed the first side so well.

What is the biggest problem is Chocolat’s over-reliance on clich√©s. I was really bothered by that. It isn’t too romantic which is great, but it is so predictable from beginning to end that I read almost the whole scenes and even the lines before seeing them. The dialogue truly needed some work in this one.

Juliette Binoche is excellent in the main role. The character herself could be too annoying at times, but she played her so well in one of her most memorable roles. Johnny Depp is also good and surprisingly understated. Judy Dench is, well, as awesome as ever, but Alfred Molina’s performance here isn’t one of his best in my opinion.

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Chocolat Movie Review

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The plethora of various, colorful characters provided some solid, though highly rushed and sometimes unbelievable drama. The film works best as a charming period piece and as a food flick as it truly is one of the best movies about food ever. I myself dislike chocolate and even my mouth was watered by this sumptuous, almost erotic chocolate imagery.

The direction is pretty mediocre for me as is the editing, but at least the film sounds good with a very good score and it looks great with excellent cinematography and superb town scenery. Chocolat is in the end a very endearing, but definitely too simplistic film that did not deserve those Oscar nominations apart from the acting nods.

Chocolat is sumptuous and almost erotic in its portrayal of food, but even though it explores one side of this issue, it doesn’t bother with the opposite side which ultimately rendered the movie too simplistic. It features very good performances and is such a charming, endearing flick, but it’s also way too predictable and cliched to be enjoyed more.

My Rating – 3.5

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Posted in 2000, 2000s, Drama, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Romance and tagged , , , , , , , .

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