My class were supposed to watch The Chorus in French class as a treat for getting good scores on our writing exams (I got a B+!), but the computers and projector were having technical difficulties and we only managed to watch about five minutes. It's a shame, because in those five minutes it was looking like a very interesting film. However, I bought it later on and watched it in France, as a part of my French listening revision!
Fond de l'Etang is a boarding school in the countryside of France, built especially for troubled boys. The Chorus, or Les Choristes is set during the early 1950s. Headmaster of the school, Monsieur Rachin, is a very strict, harsh man whose mantra is "action - reaction", meaning that the children of the school are severely punished for being naughty. The boys that attend Fond de l'Etang each have problems of their own, and behave very badly, often resulting in being beaten or locked away for long periods of time. They are treated horribly, and when a new teacher, Clément Mathieu, comes to the school, he tries to make their life better with music, as he does not believe in the "action - reaction" policy. He starts a choir, with every boy in his class involved (one of them as a music stand as he can't sing).
One of the boys in the school, Pierre Morhange, is described as having the face of an angel, but being the spawn of the devil. He is one of the quieter students, but still has outbursts of bad behaviour, resulting in his reputation. Despite being in the school, he has a hidden talent for music, with a beautiful singing voice, yet refuses to join Mathieu's choir. When he finally comes round and joins the group, it is obvious he is the best singer in the class, and becomes head of the choir. Later in life, he becomes a famous musician thanks to Mathieu persuading his mother to enrol him in a music academy.
Another boy, Pépinot, is one of the youngest boys in the school, and yet I'm not entirely sure why he attends the school, as he actually seems quite sweet and calm compared with the rest of the boys... He is unaware that his parents died during the war, and waits by the gate of the school every Saturday for his father to pick him up.
Soon, the evil headmaster is dismissed, leaving the school in a state of relief. Thanks to Mathieu, Fond de l'Etang became a much better place for all the boys.
I really enjoyed this film, not only because it is set in a boarding school in France like Les Amitiés Particulières, but because all the characters were really unique, but believable. Not only that, but the story line was so sweet, and the ending of the film was really satisfying! I'm so pleased that Morhange and Pépinot got the happy ending they deserved. Really I would recommend this film to anybody.