Watch The Chocolate War
- 1 hr 44 min
The Chocolate War is a drama film from 1988, directed by Keith Gordon and starring John Glover, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, and Wallace Langham. Based on the controversial novel of the same name by Robert Cormier, the film tells the story of Jerry Renault (Mitchell-Smith), a freshman at a Catholic high school who challenges the school's secret society and its brutal methods of fundraising.
The story takes place at Trinity High School, where the Vigils, a group of students who have immense power over the student body, rule the school. They organize fundraisers, but their methods are questionable and often involve physical violence and intimidation. When the annual chocolate sale comes around, the Vigils order all the students to sell a certain amount of chocolate bars. Jerry is the only student who refuses to sell the chocolates, in defiance of the Vigils and their cruel leader, Archie (Glover).
Jerry's refusal to participate in the sale angers the Vigils, and they begin to target him with increasingly violent pranks. However, instead of giving in to their demands, Jerry continues to resist, and his bravery inspires some of his fellow students to do the same. However, this only puts him at further risk, and as tensions escalate, things begin to spiral out of control.
Throughout the film, themes of power, corruption, and the consequences of resistance are explored. The students at Trinity High School are trapped in a system that privileges the Vigils and their money-making schemes, which are often at the expense of their peers. This leaves many feeling powerless and unable to speak out against injustice.
The acting in The Chocolate War is excellent, with John Glover delivering a chilling performance as the manipulative and sadistic Archie. Ilan Mitchell-Smith gives a nuanced and sympathetic portrayal of Jerry, whose unwavering principles and bravery in the face of adversity make him a compelling protagonist. Wallace Langham also stands out as Obie, a Vigil who begins to doubt the group's methods and confronts his own complicity.
However, the film has been criticized for its depiction of violence and sexuality, which are often graphic and shocking. Some scenes, such as a brutal beating of one of the students, can be difficult to watch. Additionally, the film's bleak and nihilistic tone may be off-putting to some viewers.
Despite these criticisms, The Chocolate War is a powerful and thought-provoking film that explores important themes and raises important questions about power and resistance. It is a challenging watch, but one that is ultimately rewarding and deeply memorable.
The Chocolate War is a 1988 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.