“The Circle,” originally titled “Dahyreh,” came out in 2000, and serves to detail the stories of how various women in Iran struggle under the oppression and sexism present in Iranian society to this day. It is no secret that it is better to be a male in Iran, considering their views on and opinions of women, however, the depth to which the society takes the misogynistic attitude is quite shocking.
“The Circle” starts out with the tale of Solmaz Gholami, who has just given birth to a beautiful baby girl, which should be news for celebration, but because her in-laws were expecting her to give birth to a baby boy, she faces the likelihood of abandonment by her husband’s family. Before the film shows what happens to her, the film shifts focus to the next three women.
The next three women were just released from prison, where they had been incarcerated for “morals” charges, but when they are released from prison, they lack their papers and a male chaperone, setting up a cycle to where they may be picked up again for the very offenses that they have been setup to commit.
These are not the only women in the film either, from a woman who cannot take a bus back to her house because she lacks a chaperone to a woman who is four months pregnant with the child of her executed lover, “The Circle” shows what life is truly like for the women of Iran, and provides an eye opening experience to the rest of the world.
“Chocolat” tells the story of a woman and her daughter, following them as they open a chocolate shop in a small French village, and causing quite a stir in this morally uptight community. Based around the idea of indulging in pleasure, of all types, it follows several different villagers through amusing confrontations, and tales of lost dreams; it shows how important tolerance is, and tells a story of personal liberation, breaking free of the molds that have been set in place for over 100 years.
The candies sold by the mother and daughter team, in addition to being absolutely delicious, have the ability to cure lost hopes and dreams and awaken emotions, (and if that were not tasty enough, Johnny Depp is a sure treat).
“Chocolat” is a fable about temptation; when to give in, when to turn away, and most importantly, it looks at the key concept of not denying the good things in life. Vianne’s candies serve to cause a battle between passions reignited and the town’s moral indignation at the…effects that her chocolate has on the members of the community.
It is a celebration and exploration of the tasty little moments in life that are meant to be truly savored and enjoyed, and it serves to catalogue the journey of learning how to stop and enjoy the little things, like smelling the roses, or a delectable piece of melt in your mouth chocolaty goodness.