Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 10th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Thailand, 2008
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Writer: Chukiat Sakveerakul, Nepalee Sakweerakul
Cast: JeeJa Yanin, Ammara Siripong, Hiroshi Abe, Pongpat Wachirabunjong
DVD released: November 3rd, 2008
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 & Stereo Thai
DVD Release: Cine Asia / Showbox Media Group Ltd
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £15.99
Synopsis: A young woman with autism and extraordinary fighting skills recovers money that is owed to her ailing.
Chocolate was directed by Prachya Pinkaew who is most known for directing Ong-bak and Tom yum goong. The plot for Chocolate features one of the most unique female martial arts action heroines an autistic girl named Zin who is played by JeeJa Yanin. Even though this is her first feature film her performance and presence during action scenes is flawless.
The plot can be broken into two parts with the majority of back story coming in the first half hour. While the last hour is wall to wall action with each new action set piece building upon the last all leading up to a jaw dropping finale that will leave you breathless.
A few of the fight scenes feature locations which feel like loose homage’s to other martial arts /action films. The ice house scenes is reminiscent of a similar scene from Bruce Lee’s Big Boss and the fight scene before the finale is reminiscent of the house of blues scene from Kill Bill. Also during the fight in the ice house Zin lets out a Bruce Lee like howl and pose. The film’s most memorable scene pairs up Zin against an epileptic whose skills are just as unconventional as hers. Ultimately Chocolate is a grueling martial arts film that makes up for its paper thin plot with its exceptional fighting sequences.
Chocolate is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors look nicely saturated and flesh tones look healthy. Black levels are strong and details are crisp throughout. There are no problems with compression or artifacts and the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with two audio options a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix. Both audio mixes are presented in the film’s native language of Thai. Both audio mixes sound clean, clear and at times dynamic. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow have been included.
Extras for this release include four TV spots, a promo and theatrical trailer for the film, outtakes and highlights from the film and six deleted scenes. Other extras include seven interviews / behind the scenes segments which give a nice overview about the making of the film. The segments are as follows, Breaking the Mould (13:47), Step By Step (10:47), A Star Is Born (5:37), Fighting Talent (7:02), The Stars Of Chocolate (7:02), Real Fighters (4:07) and Training Workshop (4:35). Some of the comments are repeated over the course of the seven interviews / behind the scenes segments. All the extras are Thai and English subtitles have been included. Rounding out the extras are trailers for other titles that are currently available on DVD from Cine Asia. Overall Chocolate gets a well rounded release from Cine Asia.