Blood and Chocolate
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while this werewolf movie doesn't include any truly horrific onscreen violence, it does show the results of violent attacks -- namely, bloody injuries and dead bodies. As a child, the central werewolf witnesses her parents' shooting deaths (the child's perspective might be troubling to younger viewers). Most of the rest of the violence is less emotionally invested. Lots of images of wolves hunting and attacking humans; fights include leaps, punches, and kicks, as well as stabbings and falls. Some chase scenes through streets feature tense cuts and dark shadows. On the sex side, there's some cleavage on display, a girl dances provocatively at a nightclub, there's talk of "mating," and a romantic couple kisses (sex is implied). Once they're dead or wounded, wolves revert back to human form, nude (the crucial parts are covered). Fairly mild language; the characters drink liquor and discuss drugs and drug dealing.
What's the story?
In BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE, werewolves have a hard time. Lurking in shadows, unable to "be themselves," the werewolves feel resentful and surly. Though they must hunt (it's their instinct), they try to hunt those humans deserving of a bad end. Enter 19-year-old Vivian (Agnes Bruckner), a werewolf who still suffers from her traumatic childhood in America. Now living in Bucharest and working as a chocolatier, Vivian loves to run free through the forest as a wolf, but doesn't much like ripping victims limb-from-limb. Her attitude doesn't sit well with her fellows, who want her to do as she's told. She's supposed to "mate" with pack leader Gabriel (Olivier Martinez), but she's not fond of him and falls in love with a human, Aiden (Hugh Dancy), a novelist who's in Bucharest to research the loup garoux. He's smitten when he meets a girl he believes to be human, but he's also well-versed on werewolf lore. Vivian is also rumored to be the subject of a prophecy, making her extra-valuable to Gabriel: She might be \"the one\" to lead her fanged community into a new sort of existence, deemed the \"age of hope.\"
Is it any good?
The story is told from the werewolves' point of view, which makes for an interesting film. The wolves' perspective makes humans look scary, especially when they come bearing large guns. The film never quite articulates what the "hope" is, so it's unclear whether wolves and humans will actually find a way to get along.
It's not easy to read Vivian's face -- she's always sensual and slightly pouty, as well as by turns angry, aggressive, aggrieved, and accusatory. In this, she embodies the movie's unresolved tensions. Still, she makes a solid case for girl werewolves' rights, seeing the world in a more "holistic" way than her masculine counterparts. That alone makes her heroic.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the tension between Vivian's family expectations and traditions and her desire to be "free" of them. How does she come to trust her own instincts? How does Vivian's position represent that of other women in the pack? How does her childhood trauma affect her decisions? How does Vivian's struggle relate to the kinds of issues that real teens deal with? What could the movie be a metaphor for?