By Steve Anderson | January 5, 2008

An old man walking to work one morning finds himself balked at his usual route and forced to take a memorable side trip in “Chocolates.” And what a long, strange trip it is, as the old man finds himself face to face with a floor-to-ceiling aquarium and unexpectedly long-lived violinists, among other things.

I’m guessing “Chocolates” is going for surrealism here–if that’s their goal, they pulled it off and in spades–but that being the case, don’t come in here looking for cohesive plotlines or a clear, brisk narrative. In fact, don’t come in here looking to make sense out of much of anything at all. Once you open that big door labeled “Chocolates,” you’re walking into a world so pathologically screwed up that even David Lynch couldn’t look at it straight on.

Which is the problem with short surrealistic films. You could watch them all you like, but they’re not exactly satisfying. I just sat through ten minutes of an old man roaming a rundown building, talking to semi-random things and people, and getting absolutely nowhere before getting thrown out of said building by an angry man with a cricket bat. I’m as confused by the end as I was when I began.

So if you hate uncertainty in your cinema, and can’t get any satisfaction out of random things occurring for ten minutes, then stay far, far away from these “Chocolates.”

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