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 Post subject: Chocolate Question #31 ~ Book or Movie?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:22 am 
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We have touched on this a bit with the characters but thinking of the move vs. the book overall, how did you feel about the differences between the book and the movie?



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:51 pm 

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DITHOT - you're over here all alone today - guess everyone is glued to the postings about Johnny & Letterman - well I'll give it a go -

like so many of you I really feel the book and the movie are two seperate entities - the only thing I really liked about the book was seeing where the movie came from -

I really preferred Mr. Le Count (movie) as the 'villian' especially because he was redeemable and not as thoroughly unlikeable as I found Reynaud (book) - I even preferred Armande in the movie as she was "too" distant in the book - I liked her at Vianne's counter so we could peek in on her as opposed to having her shut up in her own home - AND romantic that I am - I preferred Vianne and Roux connecting at the end of the movie to begin a life together rather than each going their own way (book)

hope that's enough to get someone else thinking and over here to keep DITHOT company :eyebrow:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:32 pm 
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I read the book after seeing the movie, to see the similarities, differences, and also to see where the movie came from. I agree that they are two separate entities. i enjoyed the characters so much more in the movie, and just found the movie more satisfying in general. Also, I was disappointed in the characterization of Roux in the book. I guess I was so convinced by Johnny's portrayal in the movie that I was disappointed to see that the Roux in the book didn't quite live up to that. I know that sounds backwards because the book came first, but you know what I mean.



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:42 pm 
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I agree with you, Lizbet, especially about the movie and book being two separate entities, and the romantic aspect.

I first read the book almost three years ago, in the fresh new grip of JDOCD, and I remember pondering this at the time. I usually prefer books to movies, but in this case, I prefer the movie, and it's not just because of Mr. Depp.

I can see why the villain couldn't be the priest in the movie. Priests are too iconic to be portrayed as villains. A villainous accountant, a villainous teacher, a villainous mayor—they can all be seen as isolated individuals acting badly. For some reason, a priest is an iconic representative of religion, and when one acts badly, it reflects badly on religion as a whole.

The dangling question of Vianne’s origin from the book is not even asked in the movie, so we don’t have to be annoyed that it was left unanswered.

Sure, the movie is more simple—but sometimes that can be good.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:00 pm 

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fansmom wrote:
Sure, the movie is more simple—but sometimes that can be good.


fansmom - I agree with you there - sometimes I think movies fail miserably because there is way too much in them (story as well as visually) - even having read the book half a dozen times now I still love Chocolat as a movie because it is 'simple and charming' -we get to know only the characters we really need to know and all their stories are resolved in a way which is faithful to their characters and not for the sake of resolving the movie -

Chocolat will always be one of my favorite movies (and it doesn't hurt that Johnny is in it to give us someone wonderful to look at) but I'm glad I borrowed the book from the library - it isn't something I need to read again and again


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:07 pm 
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Hi ladies! Thanks for dropping by! :cool: With all the Johnny interviews and new pics it's a busy place at the Zone. :bounce:

I too read the book for the first time three years ago and the movie was the first one I bought when I was struck by my JDOCD. I actually liked parts of the book better and parts of the movie better and I do see them as separate entities. That is unusual for me because I can't usually separate a book and a movie. I liked the characters in the book because I knew them better, especially the minor characters, and I liked Vianne in the book more. I thought she was a much more interesting and layered character. Having said that, I did like Roux in the movie more because he was a much more sympathetic and strong character than the Roux in the book. I did like Reynaud as the opposite to Vianne, as opposed to LeComte, but I think the religion vs. paganism was played up more in the book and the movie was more secular. I loved the look and feel of the movie and it really made the village come alive for me. I also loved Judi Dench's portrayal of Armande.



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Wow! What a ride!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:15 pm 
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fansmom wrote:
I agree with you, Lizbet, especially about the movie and book being two separate entities, and the romantic aspect.

I first read the book almost three years ago, in the fresh new grip of JDOCD, and I remember pondering this at the time. I usually prefer books to movies, but in this case, I prefer the movie, and it's not just because of Mr. Depp.

I can see why the villain couldn't be the priest in the movie. Priests are too iconic to be portrayed as villains. A villainous accountant, a villainous teacher, a villainous mayor—they can all be seen as isolated individuals acting badly. For some reason, a priest is an iconic representative of religion, and when one acts badly, it reflects badly on religion as a whole.

The dangling question of Vianne’s origin from the book is not even asked in the movie, so we don’t have to be annoyed that it was left unanswered.

Sure, the movie is more simple—but sometimes that can be good.


I don't quite look at them as separate entities. They are similar enough in so many ways to be somewhat of annoyance that they are different. The good thing is that in this case, if you were to read the book first, the movie would not be a disappointment because it changes aspects that were found disturbing or disappointing in the book.

I agree, that in the case of a movie, simple can be better. But it serves the person better who hasn't read the book than the one who has. The one who has read the book, in most cases, wants nothing left out of the movie. Those who haven't wouldn't notice the changes.

I agree that the mayor seems to be a more politically correct way to go. However, the message still comes across loud and clear to me.



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:50 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
I loved the look and feel of the movie and it really made the village come alive for me. I also loved Judi Dench's portrayal of Armande.


My favorite thing about the book was the way it was written--it's sensuality and her way of description. The book had a certain feel to it, which was brought out extremely well in the movie. I, too, liked Judi Dench's portrayal. In fact, I think that the casting of the entire movie was perfect.



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 7:58 am 
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I see it that way too DITHOT,the film and the book are two different animals..I actually thought the book was better than the movie,in just about everything except the characterisation of Roux. :blush: .I thought that Hallestrom bottled out in the film,by not making the priest the villain and introducing an arbitrary character..Perhaps they were too worried about offending people...The priest in the movie didn't add much to the story.Even though I like wallabies,I thought that was an odd choice too...One thing I really loved about the film was the music.It was magnificent



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 10:30 am 
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That is one of my questions too, gilly. Why did he change Pantouffle?



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:23 pm 
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I love both. So after reading the book, and reading all the great tidbits here, knowing that Joanne wrote the screen play, I felt that the movie was a part two of the book. It was Joanne's turn to move some of the characters, and their futures. It was like Joanne had a second chance to work on the characters she knew so well.

The movie to me is better then the book, maybe the only time you will hear me say that. And in my mind separating the priest role into two roles is an easy and charming idea. The movie actually fleshed out the characters in so many ways, maybe because the characters were very colorful and the background was so picturesque. The choice of actors was spot on.

I loved them both!



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:26 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
That is one of my questions too, gilly. Why did he change Pantouffle?


I think it would have been hard to direct a rabbit, a wallaby was easier to move along in the story, quicker moving physically also. Also a wallaby would have made the imaginary friend stand out as an imaginary friend, there would have been no question.



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John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester in The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:55 am 
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''Hard to direct a rabbit'' :lol: ..Raven,that gave me my first big laugh for the day..But very true.. :capnjack:



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:08 pm 
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I've heard that about rabbits... :biglaugh:



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Wow! What a ride!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:53 pm 
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The problem for me is that it is so hard to separate the two. I kept seeing the mayor's face any time Reynaud appeared in the book -- different character between the two mediums, but still I transfered the two. I saw Judi Dench as Armonde even though in the book I thought she dressed a little different......all the way through, I saw the movie characters in my imagination when I read the book....except for Roux who was drawn sharply different. There is much about the book I like better.....the layers of Vianne, her history, her magic, her torment....the symbolism....the insight into Reynaud's torture. A book can peek into someone's mind in a way a movie will never be able to. Still, I have trouble completely separating the book and movie....


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