|Vianne, as played by Julitte Binoche.|
"George was honest, prosperous and trusted by his customers. But George was not content. He felt there should be more to life than dispensing liver oil. In the spring of 1927, the Societe Pharmeceutique formed an expedition to Central America to study the medicinal properties of certain natural compounds. George was the expedition's most eager volunteer, but his adventure took a turn he did not expect. One night, he was invited to drink unrefined cacao with a pinch of chilli—the very same drink the ancient Maya used in their sacred ceremonies. The Maya believed cacao held the power to unlock hidden yearnings and reveal destinies. And so it was that George first saw Chitza. Now, George had been raised a good Catholic, but in his romance with Chitza he was willing to slightly bend the rules of Christian courtship. The tribal elders tried to warn George about her: she was one of the wanderers. Her people moved with the North Wind from village to village, dispensing ancient remedies, never settling down. Not a good choice for a bride. George did not heed their warning and, for a while, it seemed that he and Chitza might lead a happy life together in France. Alas, the clever North Wind had other plans. One morning, George awoke to discover that Chitza and the little girl Vianne had gone away. Mother and daughter were fated to wander from village to village, dispensing ancient cacao remedies, travelling with the wind...just as Chitza's people had done for generations." —Screenplay by Robert Nelson Jacobs
|Interior of La Chocolaterie Maya, decorated with Central American artifacts.|
|Useless trivia: this is the first & so-far only film in which Depp plays the guitar on-screen.|
This happy ending would not have been possible if it were not for Vianne keeping up the tradition of chocolate-making. The possibility of something new in a town where change is frowned upon turns out to be the catalyst for contentment; not the fabled ideal of tranquillité, but real peace of mind that can only be obtained through self-actualization. Vianne says that she possesses a natural gift for guessing her customer's favourite confections, but what she really sees is the core of a person. This she uses to help them decide what they need in life. The myth of the Mayan wanderers has little to do with magic and all to do with human compassion.