Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cinema Cycle - Like Water For Chocolate

(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)


DATE VIEWED: 03/04/2015

FORMAT: LaserDisc

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 46 minutes



SYNOPSIS: Three young daughters struggle with their dominant mother in a quest to find true happiness and love in turn of the century rural Mexico.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: The struggles and misdirection of love lost and love denied.  We should not live our lives for our parent’s sake, but for our own.  Food can be erotic drug as well as a deadly weapon.

PROS AND CONS:. If you strip this film down to the bare essentials, it is an Hispanic romance novel put on celluloid.  Basically, this is a chick flick.  Men could learn a lot by watching it, but the target audience is obviously women.  Specifically, women that have to deal with overbearing mothers.  Mother’s that are akin to Nurse Rachet meets Little House on the Prairie.

That said, the film had some interesting plot concepts and twists.  A lot of this film has to do with old world traditions and rural life.  The concept of being a good cook was highly regarded as was virtuous behavior and holistic healing.  

The film’s core theme is that of love and passion and how it is expressed and the pain that arises when it is denied.  So much so, that some of the story line is a bit hard to believe, such as the male lead (Pedro) marrying the sister (Rosaura) of the woman he loves (Tita) to be closer to her.  This is not very realistic in the modern western sense, but I suppose it is plausible in Spanish tradition when such a high regard and ritual were placed on relationships.  

The scene where one of the naked sisters escapes with a Mexican revolutionary on his horse is almost as unbelievable as the sister returning years later as a revolutionary general.  I mean really, when does Fabio make an appearance?

The concept of Tita’s cooking and the spell / effect that it has on those that eat it (lust, love, sorrow, death) is never fully explained and is left sort of nebulous.  We are left to believe that Tita’s emotions escape her into the food that she is preparing and then are transferred to those that consume it.  

So the core antagonist is the mother representing repression and her old world values with the protagonist daughters seeking to find their own life outside of their mother’s shadow.  Some do so by becoming their mother, some rebel and run away while others do so by subterfuge and unspoken passion that is forbidden.  Either way you look at it, it comes down to frustration and repression, which is a bit depressing in the end.  

To read an overview of this project, check out the initial post for this series.

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.
Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 
This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on