This essay will specifically interpret the compare and contrast of Francis Reynaud and the Comte de Reynaud, and how their character developments throughout the story affect the climax, as well as how the plots of the two stories may interconnect. In the novel, Vianne instantly conflicts with Pere Reynaud, the controlling, arrogant, priest. Its not that Vianne opens her chocolateria during Lent that offends Reynaud, or that Vianne turns his loyal church goers against him, but he just cannot stand Vianne, for she makes him question himself in the eyes of God. Viannes very presence is a threat because of its colorful, distracting ambiance.
Reynaud thrives on control, and Viannes temptations threaten his control over himself. His desire for power blinds him of his true religious beliefs and as the novel progresses, his temptations eventually pull him into complete insanity. In the movie, the writers decided downplay the religious aspects of Pere Reynaud, and wrote in a new, younger priest, who is easily controlled by Viannes new antagonist, the village mayor, the Comte de Reynaud. In the movie the Comte is still very opposing to Vianne, but far more sympathetic than Pere Reynaud from the novel.
While he is still arrogant and controlling, he has good intentions Neff 2 and seems to be more down to Earth. He cares more about his town and the people, but he still resents Vianne and his loss of authority. Pere Reynaud and the Comte de Reynaud do not have a lot in common, but both are in denial of truths they cannot accept. The Comte hides his heartbreak over his lost wife and the fact that he loves Caroline Clairmont, and Pere Reynaud lives with the memory of finding his mother in bed with the priest who was his mentor growing up. Although the climax of each story is similar as well, it too has its differences. In the novel, Pere Reynaud breaks into Viannes shop to destroy the chocolates.
Finally Reynaud has a mental breakdown at the sight of the chocolate and he gorges himself, completely abandoning his plan, and his dignity, and is woken up to be humiliated by the towns people, when he is found masked in chocolate the next morning. This scene is Viannes ultimate triumph; it is a glorious scene in which Reynaud is exposed and he leaves to never be seen again. In the movie, this scene comes across as sad and sympathetic, a proud man finally giving in. Until now, the Comte had believed he could still save his community from Vianne if he just worked hard enough, but in the end he only discovered hes just like his townsfolk.
In the novel, Harris turns Reynaud into an animal, to be laughed at and hated. In the movie, the writers wanted the Comte de Reynaud to be understood and forgiven. Vianne actually saves the Comte from public humiliation when she and the young priest swear to secrecy and they all become friends. Though the plots of each may vary, the stories may be one in the same, just told from a third viewpoint. The novel is narrated by Vianne and Reynaud respectfully, which tells the story from both their viewpoints. But at the end of the movie it turns out that it was narrated by Viannes daughter Anouk.
The movies plot may be the way Anouk remembers the story, or maybe even a version of the story she was told. A version that has been passed down and somewhat changed through time, just as Viannes mother told her stories to Vianne, and Vianne told them to Anouk. Although who Anouk was Neff 3 telling the story to in the movie is unclear, but it can be assumed that she is older and still in the little French village of Lansquenet where the story took place. Chocolat the novel and Chocolat the movie are both great works sure to entertain their audiences.
They compliment each other well and the movie brings life to Joanne Harris magical story. Although between the two of them, still many similarities and differences can be made. This essay showcased just a few of the many possible topics to be analyzed, and as far as a connected story goes, it is up to the reader/viewer to decide. In conclusion, from Pere Reynauds downfall, to the Comte de Reynauds revelation, among other differences, there are far more comparisons to be discovered and explained, even some that only the movie writers and/or Joanne Harris will ever know.