22 August 2011 | claudio_carvalho
Evilness, Alienation and Manipulation
In Lausanne, the aspirant pianist Jeanne Pollet (Anna Mouglalis) has lunch with her mother Louise Pollet (Brigitte Catillon), her boyfriend Axel (Mathieu Simonet) and his mother. Jeanne leans that when she was born, a nurse had mistakenly told to the prominent pianist André Polonski (Jacques Dutronc) that she would be his daughter. André has just remarried his first wife, the heiress of a Swiss chocolate factory Marie-Claire "Mika" Muller (Isabelle Huppert) and they live in Lausanne with André's second marriage son Guillaume Polonski (Rodolphe Pauly).
Out of the blue, Jeanne visits André and he offers to give piano classes to help her in her examination. Jeanne becomes closer to André and visits him every day; sooner she discovers that Mika might be drugging her stepson with Rohypnol. Further, she might have killed André's second wife Lisbeth.
"Merci pour le Chocolat" is another ambiguous film by Claude Chabrol about evilness, alienation and manipulation. Isabelle Huppert, who is one of Chabrol's favorite's actresses, performs a wicked lady. The essence of her evil is not explained, but she is capable to drug and kill her best friend and incapable to love or donate to help children.
Jeanne Pollet is manipulative and greedy, and uses the incident in the maternity hospital to get closer to André. When she sees the photo of Lisbeth in the bedroom, she returns to the pianos room where André is and puts her hands on her face exactly the same way Lisbeth did.
André Polonski is alienated and lives his life in the world of music, and doping to sleep and ignoring to see what Mika did to Lisbeth. They live a hypocrite life with Guillaume, who does not have any objective in life.
This film is not among the best works of Claude Chabrol, but anyway it is entertaining. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "A Teia de Chocolate" ("The Chocolate Cobweb")