Blood and Chocolate (film)

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Blood & Chocolate is a werewolf film released on January 26, 2007, produced by Lakeshore Entertainment and distributed by MGM. It is based on the young adult novel Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause, which was adapted to a screenplay by Ehren Kruger. It was directed by Katja von Garnier. The movie was made available on DVD on June 11, 2007.

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[edit] Synopsis

The opening scene of the film shows how Vivian's family of werewolves was killed in America when she was 9 years old, after which she moved to Bucharest,Romania to live with her aunt Astrid. Astrid is a former mate of the pack's leader, Gabriel, and together they have a son named Rafe. According to pack law, the leader chooses a new mate every seven years. The choosing is a few months away and Gabriel wants Vivian as his mate, despite her reluctance. This is because of a prophecy which states that a female loup-garou from the line of leaders will someday lead all loup-garou into the age of hope. Gabriel thinks this loup garou will be Vivian, and for this reason he wants to marry her.

While sitting in a church one night (having broken into it) she meets a human, Aiden, who is an artist (who broke into the church for inspiration for his graphic novel series) researching the legend of the loup-garou. Aiden is instantly smitten and pursues her for several days before she finally agrees to start seeing him. They meet in secret and fall in love. They are soon discovered by Vivian's cousin Rafe and his four friends, who grew up with Vivian; throughout the movie Rafe and his friends are referred to as the Five. After Rafe tells Gabriel about the relationship, he orders Rafe to do whatever is necessary to get Aiden out of the city- even if it means death threats and bribing.

Rafe sends Aiden a note, pretending it is from Vivian and asking him to meet her in a chapel outside the city. After Rafe threatens him, Aiden throws him into the table where he cuts himself. Rafe's spilling of blood forces his eyes to turn gold and reveal his loup-garou side. He attempts to kill Aiden, however silver is fatal to the loup-garou and can poison them when mixes with their blood. Aiden uses his silver pentagram necklace to kill Rafe, in self-defense.

Gabriel and Astrid are devastated at the death of their son, and Aiden is caught by the other loup-garou. Every month at full moon, the pack leads a hunt in the forest. The human prey is chosen because they are a danger to the pack or because they've offended one of its members. If the human manages to cross the river in the forest, they're allowed to live, but no one has ever managed to reach the river. Aiden is chosen to be that moon cycle's prey and he runs for his life. He cleverly spreads his blood around on the trees to confuse the hunting loup-garou and buy some time. Fortunately, he'd stolen a silver knife from a restaurant earlier, and when two wolves corner him he is able to defend himself. He reaches the river and with great difficulty crosses it, however Gabriel is furious and breaks his own law, he follows Aiden and attacks. Vivian jumps in and she and Gabriel fight in their wolf forms; Vivian wins by pushing him into the river. Aiden attacks her, not recognizing her in her wolf skin, and slashes her with the knife. When she changes back into her human self she reveals who she is, he is stricken with guilt and is eager and reluctant to help her.

They flee to a building where films were once processed, because it is riddled with silver dust the loup-garou would not dare enter a place so littered with silver to find them. After a few tender moments Astrid appears. Realizing where Vivian had gone, she confronts them with a gun. Vivian pleads for Aiden's life, reminding Astrid of how important it is to be with someone you love, and Astrid (who is in love with Gabriel even though he is no longer her mate) lets them free. They retrieve an antidote for Vivian by threatening a human pharmacist who is owned by Gabriel, but the man manages to alert the pack to their presence. Vivian fights to protect Aiden but she is captured.

In the wolves' territory, Gabriel decides that he and Vivian shall hunt (each other), but Aiden shoots him from the roof. A few of Gabriel's hit-men shoot him down into the building and a massive fight begins. During the shooting, several kegs of alcohol shatter and their contents spill onto the floor and Aiden sets the building on fire. Gabriel attacks Aiden but before he can strike a possibly fatal blow, Vivian aims a gun at Gabriel. He insults her by telling her how she wants to be that hunter on that snowy night and kill on of her family. Gabriel shifts into his wolf form and faces Vivian. Aiden pleads with Vivian to shoot Gabriel, to which she replies, "I can't." When Gabriel goes to attack Aiden, Vivian shoots him. Vivian feels guilty for having killed Gabriel, as a tear rolls down her cheek and she strokes Gabriel's fur. She helps the other loup-garou who had been chasing her, escape from the fire and she and Aiden run away together.

The last scene is of them sitting in Gabriel's car and driving out of the city, on their way to Paris. As they drive, several people in the streets show their throats to the car because they think it is Gabriel. As the car passes between the massive structure of a looming building, the movie ends.

[edit] Production

Since 1997, five directors were in talks to film Blood and Chocolate, namely Larry Williams and his wife Leslie Libman, Po-Chih Leong, Sanji Senaka and Rupert Wainwright, before Katja von Garnier finally signed in January 2005 to direct the film. The book was originally adapted into a script by Christopher Landon whose father Michael Landon had a leading role in the film I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957). The filming took place in Bucharest, Romania, among others because director von Garnier wanted to work with "real" wolves which really live in Romania's woods, instead of using computer-generated wolf creatures.[1]

Author Annette Curtis Klause was not kept up to date by the producers of the film. She had to find the information about the filming on the Web.[2]

[edit] Release

The movie was a box office bomb, taking in only $2.1 million in the United States on its opening weekend and dropping out of the top 20 grossing movies in only its second week of release.

[edit] Differences between book and film

  • The general message of the book is that werewolves and humans cannot have stable romantic relationships because humans cannot love all of a who/what a werewolf is. In the book Vivian chose her kind over human kind. The movie states the exact opposite, as Vivian and Aiden are still together at the end.
  • In the book, all characters are American and the story takes place in Maryland. In the film it takes place in Romania and some characters have British, French, and Romanian accents. Vivian and Aiden are the only characters with American accents.
  • In the novel, none of the wolves' eyes change to gold when they smell the scent of blood.
  • Vivian's mother Esme is alive and her father dies in the novel; in the film both her parents are dead. In the book Vivian is an only child, but in the film it is shown that she had siblings, who were killed along with her parents.
  • In the film Vivian blames herself for her family's death; she explains to Aiden that her pawprints were found by the enemy, leading them to her family. In the book, only her father dies and it was caused, albeit indirectly, by the Five.
  • Aiden, Vivian, and the Five are high school students in the book. Vivian is in her teens and Aiden is a junior in High School. The Five are presumably in their late teens as well. In the film, Aiden appears to be older than Vivian, though no specific references are made to their ages or school.
  • In the book, Astrid and Gabriel were never mates. Rafe is neither their son, but the son of Lucien Dafoe, nor is he Vivian's cousin. Also, Astrid is not Vivian's aunt and is actually the main antagonist in the book.
  • Rafe – and the rest of the Five – are attracted to Vivian in the novel; She and Rafe had dated at some point before the story takes place. This is not mentioned in the film.
  • Rafe and Astrid are lovers in the novel; in the film they are mother and son.
  • In the film there is no Ordeal between the male loup-garoux, and no Ordeal between the female loup-garoux. Gabriel is the leader from the start, instead of participating in the Ordeal as he did in the book.
  • Aiden is alone in Romania in the film; in the book he has friends and family around him other than Vivian.
  • In the beginning of the novel, a character named Axel- a friend of the Five and Vivian's former primary romantic interest – was mentioned several times. Axel does not appear in the film.
  • In the novel, it was Axel, and not Rafe, who murdered a girl because she rejected him.
  • Vivian has an Uncle Rudy, Esme's brother, in the novel. In the film, she has no uncle.
  • Vivian is an artist in the novel; in the film Aiden is the artist.
  • Vivian works at a chocolate and sweets shop in the film; she has no such job in the book.
  • In the novel, when the pack leader takes a mate, she is his mate for life unless another female loup-garoux challenges and defeats her, or the pack leader approves of her new mate. In the film, the leader takes a mate every seven years.
  • Gabriel is generally a protagonistic character and does not permit the pack to kill humans for pleasure; in the film he is the antagonist and encourages the killing of humans.
  • Vivian is presumably a gray and brown loup-garoux in the book. However, in the film a white wolf was chosen to depict Vivian in her wolf-form.
  • In the book, there is no prophecy.
  • The book mentions an elderly female loup-garoux, Aunt Persia, who cures every ailment the loup-garoux may have including Vivian's silver poisoning, however in the book Aunt Persia does not cure Vivian's silver poisoning. In the film, she is not mentioned and an old pharmacist gives Vivian an antidote.
  • In the book, Aiden gives Vivian a silver pentagram, which he later melts down into the bullets he shot Vivian and Rafe with. In the film, Aiden owns a pentagram necklace but does not give it to Vivian. He uses it to kill Rafe.
  • In the book, Vivian's parents had been the leaders of the pack before Gabriel, but the film never mentions this.
  • When Vivian reveals her secret to Aiden in the book, he is terrified and wants nothing to do with her. In the film, Aiden is initially terrified and runs away from Vivian, but falls back in love with her after she saves him from the other loup-garoux.
  • In the novel, the pack members shape-shift into their alternative forms. In the film, the transformation is much more spiritual, depicting Vivian and the others as humans who almost seem to ascend into a higher (or at least different) state of spiritual being, glowing mystically as they transform into that of the loup-garoux.
  • In the book, Vivian enjoys changing into her wolf form, and does so frequently. Though she seemingly loses control throughout the novel. In the film, she struggles to prevent the change and only does so when necessary to save Aiden from the hunt.
  • Though Aiden kills Rafe in both the book and the film, in the book Aiden shoots Rafe with a silver bullet. In the film, he kills him with his silver amulet.
  • In the book, Vivian reveals her wolf form to Aiden, which frightens him away. In the movie, Rafe transforms in front of Aiden, and he then comes to the conclusion that Vivian is a loup-garoux as well.
  • Gabriel is twenty-four in the novel; in the film he is of indeterminate age, though clearly old enough to have fathered Rafe with Astrid.
  • At the end of the book Gabriel tells Vivian that he had once loved a human girl and how he could relate to Vivian's feelings for Aiden. He does not do this is in the film, also, in the book Gabriel loves Vivian, but in the film he wants to marry her to fulfill the prophecy.
  • In the film, Vivian shows a great amount of resistance to "Tradition" and Gabriel's laws, whereas in the book, Gabriel explains that he loves her because she cares so much for her pack.
  • In the book Aiden and Vivian break up at the end, and Vivian falls in love with Gabriel and agrees to become his mate. In the film, however, Gabriel is killed by Vivian and she leaves the pack with Aiden.
  • In the film, Aiden's last name is Galvin, while in the book, it is Teague.

[edit] Footnotes

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