Thursday, August 2, 2012

How Important is Chocolate in "Chocolate" the Movie?

While we most often talk about chocolate foods or drinks here on The Chocolate Cult, we do let you know about anything else we might encounter or learn about that has to do with Chocolate.  Today I want to do a very brief and chocolate focused movie review of the 2009 film Chocolate (English dub)that I saw this past weekend with my family.

  "Chocolate" is the first film for actress JeeJa Yanin, who stars as Zen, a autistic young woman who has a knack for learning marital arts simply by observation. Most of the other actors in the movie I didn't recognize but one of them, Hiroshi Abe, I have seen in several Japanese series and films. While his role isn't huge it is central to the film as Zen's father.

 Of course I could review this film in the traditional way but I think we here want to know why on Earth it is called Chocolate at all, right?

Chocolate does play an interesting and reoccurring role in the film as one of Zen's constant companions. As a young girl she is shown holding a tube of chocolate candies that she is always eating. As she gets older she starts to eat these candies in more entertaining ways such as popping them into her mouth from a distance or bouncing them off various body parts.

In one of the lengthy fight sequences, we see her fighting a few employees of, I kid you not, the Evil Candy Company, as it is listed in the film credits. In one of the subscenes in that part of the film, as she is fighting we see boxes and boxes with "Choco" written across them.

 Why is Zen fighting? Her mother, Zin, played by ammara Siripong, once worked for a mobster but fell in love with a Japanese rival, Masashi, played by Hiroshi Abe. The parents had to split up but her mother left her mobster boss to raise their child alone. As you might imagine, mobsters no matter their ethnic or racial group do not take kindly to employees leaving them and the single mother and daughter struggle to survive. The reason Zen fights though is that her friend, Moom, played by Taphon Phopwandee, finds a ledger listing money that they think Zin is owed by various "business" owners who, of course, do not want to pay the young teenagers.  The teens want this money because Zin is getting medical treatment for something, probably a form of cancer based on the treatments and medication we see in the film.

However, the teens do not realize that this money is really owed not simply to Zin but also her former mob boss, or so he claims.  The final appearance of chocolate in the film is in another tube of candies left for Zen which contain an unpleasant warning for the trio that only fuels their anger more and opens the door for Zen's father to return.

Given the title I think that chocolate should have played a more prominent role in the movie.  While the plot generally returns to important points over and over, after the candy warning scene Zen's favorite treats never reappear. Why?  Did it freak her out so much that she could eat them?  If so, I think we needed to see that played out for even a minute.  If she still wanted them, why did they not appear later as a way for father and daughter to bound more?

If you've seen the film, leave a comment and tell us what you think.  If you haven't but it sounds interesting, you can buy it at Amazon using our links and help support us through the Amazon Affiliate program.

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