Friday, August 8, 2014

Review of Chocolate

  I had bought this movie about a week before I moved, and I just had the opportunity to watch it.  So even though this is a little bit older of a movie (2008), I wanted to give it a review, as it didn't seem to make a big impact in the US.

  Chocolate is a movie from Thailand, directed by Prachya Pinkaew.  He was the director of Tony Jaa's movies Ong-Bak and The Protector.  And as such, it has a very similar filming style during the fight scenes.  Not that the filming is bad, in fact, because they pulled the camera away a bit, you can actually see what the movements are.  That's one of those things I hate about bad fight scenes.  When the camera is so focused on the actors, that you can't see the fight scene.
  The story focuses on Zen, an illigitimate daughter of a Yakuza member and a female Thai underworld enforcer.  What makes it unusual is that Zen is autistic.  Jeeja Yanin (one of the names she goes by) does a very good job of portraying this.  However, the movie portrays her hyperfocused aspect on the physical
movements of the Muai Thai school next door, and the kung fu movies she likes to watch (Of course Tony Jaa is one of the actors she likes to watch).  This apparently makes her a bad ass.
  When Zen's mother gets cancer and needs chemotherapy, Zen and her chubby friend from childhood, Moom find her mother's old debt book, and start going around to collect loan money.  Mom's old underworld boss doesn't like that.  Hi-jinks ensue, and the movie goes on from there.
  Now to the review part.  The stunt team (Muai Thai Stunt Team) is just as much a star as any of the principle actors.  The last half an hour of the movie is one non-stop fight scene.  And its a good one.  The fights and stunts make the movie, and the acting was very good.  However, what I came away with is feeling sorry for anyone that an autistic person in their care.  I've only known a handful of people wit autism, but I've not had any real long-term dealings with them.  Because of that, I'm going to give this movie 3.5 Ninja Stars out of 5.  It was a good movie, definitely worth checking out, just for the stunts if nothing else.  The acting was very well done and the cinematography added to the excitement of the movie.  But the overall message made me feel a bit uncomfortable.  I don't know if that was the movie or me.

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