Books and Movies Reviews

Like Water for Chocolate

A critique of the film Like Water for Chocolate
The novel Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel has won many hearts as well as awards whenfirst published in 1989 in Spanish and 1992 in English. In the novel Esquivel encompasses us with the sweet aroma of the imagination and creativity. Unfortunately, this can not be said of the feature film that was based on the book. Como agua para chocolate was released as a Mexican language film in 1993 featuring English subtitles. Although the subtitles were provided to help the Spanish-illeterate to understand the film, it was just as confusing to follow the plot with them.
Like a bad cook standing behind his/her cuisines, Esquivel's integrity is questioned here. Although directed by Alfonso Arau, the screenplay was provided by Esquivel herself. Unfortunately, Esquivel should have quitted while being ahead instead of marinating the novel into a tasteless movie. Most books thrive on the reader's imagination which quickly gets digested away when it comes to the widescreen. Although some films have complimented books very well (Jurassic Park, the Green Mile, etc.) Como agua para chocolate sports a genre of simply "Bad" and ends up giving the viewer a bad taste in their mouth. Although being known as a "blockbuster" film, it lacks the magic of what books can capture which most expensive special effects of Hollywood cannot. Perhaps what can be blamed for the success of the novel is that the novel had no limitations to the reader, rather, the reader directs his or her screenplay in his/her head with an unlimited amount of budget required. In Como agua para chocolate the viewer is constantly spoon-fed with the interpretations of the director; whether it be depicting the scene inaccurately or failure to shoot the scene entirely. The film shoots out totolaritarian ideas – what you see is what you get and there's no if's or and's about it wheth…

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