There’s no denying that Chocolate ransacks the melodrama pantry with impunity: Unforgettable first love, orphaned children, past trauma, over-the-top chaebol family power struggles, misunderstandings due to noble idiocy etc etc. It’s almost relentless. All these elements would be immediately recognizable by seasoned viewers. Familiar though it seems, the haunting storytelling and the exquisite cinematography is what lifts the material beyond the burden of expectation. The locations are glorious to behold. Moreover, the use of tropes is largely the set-up for the meat of the story: The reality of impending death and how people of different ages and backgrounds find ways of processing mortality and loss.
The leads are two wounded souls who continually find their way to each other despite various attempts to stay out of the other’s way. Theirs is a slow burn romance as they navigate all the obstacles from within and without to finally come full circle. The romance plays out poignantly within the backdrop of a regional hospice. For one reason or another the romantic leads, Cha-young, and Lee Kang end up working there. The location is gorgeous and serene. An ideal setting perhaps for anyone receiving palliative care and putting their house in order before making their exit from among the living.
Read the rest of the review at JangHaven Forums