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Like Water For Chocolate

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Autor:  anton  04 March 2011
Tags:  Chocolate
Words: 794   |   Pages: 4
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Film Review 2# Theatre 1023

Like Water foe Chocolate

Mariah Sheldon



Like Water for Chocolate is adapted to the screen from the book written in 1989 by Laura Esquirel. Laura Esquirel is the screen writer for the movie also. The movie is set in the early part of the 20th century in Mexico. The film was directed by Alfonso Arau. The cinematography is by Emmanuel Lub Ezki and Steve Bernstein. As this movie was in Spanish with subtitles I am hoping I have the actors correctly attached to the characters’ Lumi Chavazos played Tita who is the primary female role in this movie Marco Leonardi is Pedro her love interest. The other roles in the movie were all very secondary to Tita except for the relationship with her mother Mama Elena played by Rigina Torne.


Like Water for Chocolate is story of a woman and her only true love Pedro. Tita the youngest of three daughters is denied the option of marriage because in well born Mexican families the youngest daughter forgoes marriage to take care of the parent. The story begins with the birth of Tita in the kitchen of the family ranch house where it was said she wept in her mother’s womb so violently as her mother chopped onions that she caused her mother to go into early labor. The place setting was in Mexico close to the Texas border at the turn of the century. Tita born in the kitchen surrounded by food and spices grew up to be a master chef. The tyrannical oppression of her mother on her life and love caused her cooking to be the embodiment of her emotions. Her lover married her oldest sister in order to be close to Tita they, being denied love and marriage, find creative ways to impart their love. The older sister married to Tita’s lover the middle daughter runs off with rebels type characters. Mama Elena disowns the two disobedient daughters. Tita desperate after hearing of the death of Pedro’s son and her nephew married a doctor and did not return to the ranch Until Mama Elena’s violent death at the hands of out laws. The ending is filled with passion and unrequited loved being met and transformed forever. Throughout the film there are the recipes used to express the love and emotion of Tita. The food is a character as well because it displays so much emotion through the film.


I will review the cinematographer because this story is potentially filled with so much romance, sexual passion, and sexual arousal. I felt that the angles and shots tried to place the events and people in a real world into a place filled with more fantasy and magic. I felt that he did not give credit with his photography to the possiblit6y of color and passion and lust being so evoked at every turn. The black and light tones were muddy making the color in the film seem flat. The angles missed the passion of the human conditions. The book did such a wonderful job of providing the reader with a visual image of the passion and sensuality surrounded by the preparation and eating of the food but the film lacked this for me. I wanted the shots to linger and hone in on the hand and body movements of the women as they prepared the meals.


In Mexico hot chocolate is made of water, not milk. To prepare the drink one brings the water to a boil then adds the coca and stirs with a wooden Wisk to form froth. The saying then is that when someone becomes excited, agitated or sexually aroused is said that they are like water for chocolate, or that they the are the hot core for the chocolate flavor and when you stir that mixture up you have a frothy decadent treat, just like the mixture of raw emotion creates a rich energy. This theme is displayed by Tita’s recipes and making of the hot chocolate which is the only way she is capable of displaying her deep and passionate love for Pedro. The mystic and magic weaves through the film and the director tries to be true to the book with his dialogue in that it is fairly direct and simple. The story is a pretty classic love story about the power and struggle of relationships.

CLOSING: I would suggest watching the moving twice. The book sweeps you away but the movie, surprisingly, is so much more subtle in its passion. I appreciated it and understood it much better the second time I watched it. I did enjoy seeing the characters and food even though I did not think I was a stimulating as it could have been.

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