top of page

A Chocolate a Day Keeps the Blues Away: Food Scenes in Chocolat- Aiman Rahman


Hallstrom’s Chocolat remains one of the most endearing and heartwarming films I have watched regarding food and the way it bridges relationships between communities. We are presented with a magical realist narrative that almost verges on the periphery of the surreal and the fantastic. The spectator is led into the realm of a fictional French village wherein the individuals are constrained by conventional Catholic rules and an ascetic lifestyle. However, the cheerful Vianna Rocher and her daughter pose as an emissary from the world of magic and offer something to the dwellers of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes that awakens both their spiritual and emotional sides: the velvety taste of chocolate. Opening a chocolatory during the Lent (a religious holiday wherein Christians fast) in a town that’s deeply entrenched in its orthodox ideals serves as a symbolic act of deviance itself. As Vianna and her daughter concoct unique blends of cocoa and brew sweetened tea that warms the hearts of certain emotionally deprived individuals, they manage to invoke the wrath of others who view the chocolatory as a form of institutionalized hedonism. Our female protagonist boasts about offering the right variety of chocolate to every individual who steps into the tiny shop and claims that there’s nothing that a spoonful of chocolaty delight can’t fix. Further stories unfold to substantiate her assertion: a meek neighbor who happens to be a victim of domestic abuse finds herself a home within the cozy walls of Vianna’s kitchen, a diabetic elderly reconvenes with her long-lost grandson while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate, and a boisterous pirate from lands far off finds his heart melting out of his love for the protagonist. However, dissent develops amongst certain groups who hold the belief that indulgence, romance, passion and sensuality can lead to the collapse of society. The town mayor and the bishop (symbols of sociopolitical order and religious authority) entwine hands in the pursuit of overthrowing the age of enlightenment evoked by Vianna and her allies. In one particularly jarring scene, the mayor trespasses into the chocolatory in the middle of the night and shatters the chocolate statues, and gobbles on the desserts in a bout of frenzy. His unsatiated desire to consume chocolate and be at the receiving end of pleasure is depicted in an almost animalistic light. Meanwhile, the town loses its footing after the departure of the radiant mother-daughter duo. However, the inhabitants soon discover that chocolate and all the unadulterated joy it represented had enriched their lives and throw a feast that involves everything from scrumptious chocolate chicken to moist cakes to convince their beloved guests to stay.

26 views7 comments

7件のコメント


Zunaira Mubeen 2321S026
Zunaira Mubeen 2321S026
2022年8月07日

Thankyou Aiman for writing this up!

What I like about this film is how a woman fights against all odds and that too always with a smile. No matter the person has a bad opinion about her she conquers it with her heart wide open.

It's also about how human's tend to always blindfold themselves with the customs that is no longer a good thing to follow, it is rather a load on our souls, it doesn't allow us to live, to laugh and enjoy life to the fullest. Similarly to the main lead the choloatire when she let go the duty upon her to settle it was the right thing to do as she released herself.

いいね!
返信先

Customs and familial traditions as well as intergenerational legacies do weigh us down, esp women since we are inclined to continue whatever traditions have defined us since the epoch of time.

いいね!

Ammara Noor 2321S023
Ammara Noor 2321S023
2022年8月07日

Hey Aiman!


I think Ha Ji Won just wanted to make something beautiful when taking on this thoughtful series and she is beautiful in it. Its themes are wide ranging and hard to tackle successfully and, for the most part, it works but not flawlessly. It covers the topic of death and tragedy which might have been gloomy but isn't because it focuses on the positivity of the characters facing their departure - and in so doing, pulls your heartstrings mercilessly at times. This is interspersed with some wondrous culinary delights and a machiavellian medical sub plot.

いいね!

Iman Aamir
Iman Aamir
2022年8月06日

Hi while I haven’t watched the movie , i have to say your review has convinced me to watch it 😅. But id also like to add that don’t u think associating every right wrong with chocolate is problematic? …. Like why should chocolate be the answer to every problems becuase in my association every right wrong with a certain food isnt correct

いいね!
返信先

Chocolate is a very gentle metaphor in the film, it doesnt impose itself nor does it overshadow the plot line. I would highly recommend watching it to appreciate the subtlety!

いいね!

Hey!


The first thing that came to my mind when I read the title of the blog was the iconic ‘Charlie and the chocolate factory.’ A random share, but a nostalgic one.


Keeping the romantic and entertaining part of the movie aside, this media production brought forward social issues before I was even born. The realization that not much has changed ever since makes me sad. The film outlines female characters that are strong and positive. Talking about our local media productions, those who have a job, complete a degree, or refuse to get married at an early age are characterized as strong women. But this standard definition is not a good one, if I may add. Strong here means…


いいね!
返信先

thanks for your elaborate analysis! this film covers very pertinent issues within a limited time frame for sureeee. I particularly really enjoyed its portrayal of womanhood and how sometimes intergenerational cycles must be broken if one wants to acquire liberty.

いいね!
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page