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OBS BOOK VS. MOVIE: BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE

by Dawn, November 7, 2009

OBS presents another Book vs. Movie adaptation! In honor of New Moon November, we’re doing a werewolf movie! Check back on November 20th to see the Book vs Movie feature for Twilight!

In fear I hurried this way and that. I had the taste of blood and chocolate in my mouth, the one as hateful as the other.” Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

Vivian Gandillion is a member of the loup-garou: a werewolf, a shape shifter. She and her pack have just moved after the people of the town they lived in discovered what they were and burned down her family’s house, with he father inside. Now she has to adjust to life in a new place, with no firm pack leader. On top of that she’s met a human boy, who is very interested in werewolves…

The idea to make Blood and Chocolate into a movie came into being the same year the book was published. Unfortunately, a series of events kept postponing the start; director changes, screenwriter changes, etc. The movie was optioned in 1997, and that was the last say Annette Curtis Klause had in the production. As a result, the book and movie differ. In fact, except for the characters names and their positions in the pack, the book and movie are nearly two different stories.

The director wanted to examine the werewolf (or in this case, shape shifter) mythology behind the loup-garou. Discussing werewolves she said “Usually it’s like a curse…I wanted the transformation, the change, to be something that’s beautiful, that’s liberating”. Which, at least, was true to the feel of the book. Most of the movie was shot in Bucharest, while the rest was on a sound stage. During the shoot they used 23 wolf and wolf-hybrids, including one who had one blue eye and one brown, which inspired the contacts worn by Rafe (so the human and the wolf playing him would match). The real wolves are by far the best part of the movie, and the transformations are flawless. If you can enjoy the book and the movie as separate entities, I recommend both. Of course, I saw the movie first, so I might be a little biased.

In 2007 (shortly after Blood and Chocolate came out in theaters), Annette Curtis Klause optioned the rights to her book The Silver Kiss (about vampires). She said “I should be jaded after my Blood and Chocolate experience, but who knows–maybe next time someone will get it right.”

Similarities:

– The major characters: Vivian, Gabriel, Aiden, Astrid and Rafe; are all there.
– “The Five”, and the trouble they get into.
– Vivian’s loyalties are tested because of the human she loves.
– Death by silver bullet.
– The family is forced to move after a house fire.
– Vivian loves to run.

Differences:

– Some of the good guys in the book become bad guys and vise versa.
– Vivian is a high-schooler in the book, in the movie she’s 19.
– The movie takes place in Bucharest, Romania; in the book they move to Maryland.
– In the book, the fire kills Vivian’s father; in the movie she loses both parents and two siblings. Her Aunt Astrid raises her.
– The way the pack leader chooses a mate is very different.
– In the movie, Vivian isn’t sure she likes being loup-garou; in the book she loves it.
– Movie: smell of blood can cause them to change. Book: only by choice or full moon.

Overall Accuracy: 1.5 out of 5
Because there are subtle personality traits from the book that were left in the characters (it’s a 1 for plot).

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