Stacks Image p687_n2

In this section are films that deal with more serious themes, such as crime, passion, troubled romance and hard-hitting human stories.

Stacks Image p687_n36
 
  • Elle l'adore

    Elle l'adore

  • Les Anarchistes

    Les Anarchistes

  • Hors la loi

    Hors la loi

  • Un prophete

    Un prophete

  • Mediterranea

    Mediterranea

  • Chaos

    Chaos

  • Jalousie

    La jalousie

  • Suzanne

    Suzanne

  • Au nom de ma fille (Kalinka)

    Au nom de ma fille (Kalinka)

  • Mal de pierres

    Mal de pierres

  • La Proie

    La Proie

  • 11.6

    11.6

  • La prochaine fois je viserai le coeur

    La prochaine fois je viserai le coeur

  • Les cowboys

    Les cowboys

  • Apr├Ęs le sud

    Après le sud

  • Chocolat

    Chocolat

  • L'Atessa

    L'Atessa

  • La fille inconnue

    La fille inconnue

  • Belle de jour

    Belle de Jour

  • La femme tranquille

    La femme tranquille

  • Un peuple et son roi

    Un peuple et son roi

  • Belleville Story

    Belleville Story

  • Nelly

    Nelly

  • 1905

    1905 - The Winds of Passion

Archive


Chocolat
Chocolat (2016)
Not to be confused with the 2000 film of the same name starring Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche, this is in fact the story of Rafael Padilla, a Cuban born negro who became a celebrated clown in Paris at the turn of the 19th Century. Omar Sy plays the clown Chocolat, a name he comes to despise because he finds it denigrating. But ,unfortunately for him, the attitudes of the time towards coloured people were unlikely to change simply because he rejected his circus name.

The makers of this film have significantly changed some of the historical details but the thrust of the story remains true. In his association with the clown George Foottit, a Parisian star, the duo become great favourites with audiences. Chocolat is Foottit's knockabout sidekick, who endures his somewhat demeaning role with a smile. Until, that is, he starts to resent his treatment while at the same time aspiring to greater things, such as playing Othello! But are the Paris audiences ready for this?

This is a film that starts off as a quite amusing take on Chocolat's introduction to clowning and his rise in popularity, leading to a somewhat lavish lifestyle and some unwise involvement with gambling and strong liquor. And he also likes the ladies. As the plot develops the film becomes much more of a character study as we witness Chocolat's attempt to shed his clown persona and become a serious actor. He is helped by his wife, a white woman who is not immune from the racism of the day.

Omar Sy plays Chocolat as if the role was written for him and is ably supported by James Thiérrée as the more serious and circumspect Foottit. As the final credits roll we are treated to a glimpse of the real Chocolat and Foottit by way of archive footage, and we see that the producers of this film have worked hard to portray the duo exactly as they were.

A final bit of trivia. In French, être chocolat is an informal expression meaning to be deprived of something that you were counting on, and comes from Chocolat's experiences at the hands of Foottit during their act. Thus his name lives on.
Back
This website doesn't make extensive use of cookies but a small number are required for the correct functioning of the site and to provide me with anonymous analytical information.
Read more
I use a cookie to stop this information panel reappearing once it has been accepted.

There are also cookies for Google Analytics.

Embedded content can also introduce cookies from third party sites, such YouTube.