Starring: Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand, Jean-Baptiste Maunier
Director: Christophe Barratier
Running Time: 99 mins
The Chorus (Les Choristes) is a French film about a new supervisor, Clément Mathieu, who arrives at a dysfunctional and brutal boarding school for boys. However, in an attempt to inspire the children, he creates a choir, and discovers an astounding talent within his pupils.
This is a film that both hits you hard at the core with its dark and evil tones, and sparks magic through its delightful score. For something that promotes music, it works amazingly, with enough beautiful songs to keep you feeling good throughout a story which is severely dark and brutal.
Let’s start with the score, though. Possibly one of the most beautiful scores I’ve heard in a long time, and it plays such a significant role in the story that you can’t avoid loving it. The feature song: ‘Vois Sur Ton Chemin’ is delightful, while there are a whole heap of others that become not only catchy, but inspiring, as it shows the power of music in pulling these boys from their previously delinquent lives.
But this isn’t a cheesy musical. No, there are a lot of songs spaced out during this film, but the story is something you wouldn’t at all expect from something with such music. There are some horrible characters, tense relationships, brutal disciplining and some extremely depressing story lines throughout.
However, one of the best things about this film is that it gives equal representation and time to the children and the adults. While you have some brutal teachers, there are some horrid kids, and while there are some adorable kids, there are some delightful adults, so there is a very strong balance in this film that means you can enjoy a very fulfilling story without becoming too partial.
And then, there comes a whole period of the film where it is totally unpredictable. In the typical up-and-down story, which doesn’t start too strongly, there comes the middle part of the film, filled with anarchy, fear, jealousy, triumph and depression, and with some very unstable characters stuck in the middle of that, it becomes a hugely exciting part of a film that I did not expect many surprises from.
Overall, this gets a 7.6, because it’s got a beautiful score, fascinating and difficult characters, along with a story that’s dark and brutal, but the music pulls you through it all.