The topic that I decided to focus on is the theme of transformation within the movie. Instead of going through each and every character’s specific change, we decided to focus on four main ones to give a more detailed perspective of each one. The first transformation we’d like to analyze on is the town in general. The movie begins with a thick haze as the camera slowly frees itself from it and passes over the river, through the trees and into the tiny, clustered town with a strong wind blowing from the north. It’s as if we had to go through all these barriers to reach the close-minded and isolated town.
The music is quiet, tense, and is then abruptly interrupted by the church bells chiming. The aural of this scene is almost like the townspeople quietly talking amongst themselves but stops suddenly as the Comte steps in, such as the chiming of the bells cuts into the music. The camera view of the town is from high above, revealing how the townhouses are closely huddled on top of a hill, secluded from the bottom. The roofs and trees are all tainted with a teal frost with a fog hovering above. Then, the wind begins to howl and the candles begin to flicker and a flurry of snow is whirling like a mini cyclone in the middle of the town square.
And the statue of Auguste Rene Christophe Reynaud looks down upon the village. As if it were reminding them, reminding Comte de Reynaud of how the village should be ran. It was a very organized town, nothing was to be out of place, and the Comte made sure of that. It was if the village had turned cold and their minds rigid from the traditional ways of their ancestors. It remained like this’ until Vianne makes her entrance into the town. Ever so gradually, Lansquenet begins to change. Beneath the disguise of being a perfect little town, there were dark, hidden, secrets lying within; like the fog, suspended over, and haunting them.
But gradually, Vianne changes them, instead of retaliating to their prejudice, she welcomes them into her chocolatrie and one by one, they’re hidden pleasures and dreams are unlocked from within them. As time passes, the town’s transformation is represented when the icicles on the statue slowly drip. It is as if the cold-hearted town and their strict traditions are melting away too. The film then ends with the town celebration of Vianne’s festival. With the bright sun now shining upon the village, the roofs are radiating a bright cheery red, like most of Vianne’s attire. As if she had branched out throughout the whole village.
Even the statue of Comte de Auguste Rene Christophe Reynaud is holding a red balloon in his hand, and the sunlight plays on his face, giving him a slight smile. Lasquenet no longer looks isolated and confined, but bigger and brighter, like it’s discovered a new freedom and is exalting in its delight. The scene ends with the river rat’s cheerful and amusing music while the camera slowly ascends from the town square towards the sky. The town looks bigger, like it was freed, the warm sun radiating upon them, enlightening them, has melted its cold-hearted core away and the town is freed from its old tranquility.