This Week's Reel is "Like Water For Chocolate" which is based on a novel by Laura Esquivel. I'm sure many people have seen this film, but for me it's a first. The title comes from a Mexican saying. Sometimes in Mexico they make hot chocolate from water. They bring it to a rolling boil, then add the chocolate. A person who is in a state of passion or sexual excitement is said to be "Like Water For Chocolate".
"Like Water for Chocolate" was a sensual fable, full of yearning. It begins in Mexico in 1895.
Tita (Lumi Cavazos) comes into the world amid the tragedy of her father's death. The third daughter & the youngest, she is saddled with the yoke of her mother's strict adherence to the Mexican tradition that charges the youngest daughter with the care of their widowed mother for the remainder of her life. Abstaining from marriage.
Tita , overflowing with love for her mother, bends to her will while never understanding her mother's bitterness & lack of affection. She continues to acquiesce, even after meeting young Pedro. A quiet, warm young man, with loving eyes. He professes his love for her and asks for her hand. Mama Elena (Regina Torne) of course refuses, but offers a cruel & strange exchange. Pedro may marry Tita's older sister Rosaura (Yardi Arizmendi). Pedro agrees, only to be close to Tita.
Tita is shattered & placed in an unbearable situation. Pedro & Rosaura will move into the family home under Tita's nose.
Tita must look at Pedro & Rosaura everyday. She can't have him, so she pours all of her passion & love for Pedro into the meals she cooks for the family. She infuses each dish with her hopes, dreams & longing.
"Like Water For Chocolate" maintained an innocence , humor & child-like quality throughout. It kept you teetering on the edge of a believable love story and a Disney-like plot line. At times I teetered on the edge of annoyance, because I wanted the story to make up it's mind. It was hard to let myself teeter back & forth. I wanted either fable or reality. In the end I just decided to go with fable. Either way "Like Water For Chocolate" was full of some really tender, wonderful moments. Also some that were so jarring they pulled me out of the movie, because they just didn't seem to belong.
As you watch "Like Water For Chocolate". Whatever ending you have conjured in you head, let go of it. Because fables rarely follow rules.