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Friday, June 24, 2016

Como Agua Para Chocolate (aka Like Water For Chocolate) (1992)

As the youngest daughter, a young girl (Lumi Cavazos) is forbidden to marry by family tradition as it is her duty to care for her mother (Regina Torne) until she dies. So the boy (Marco Leonardi) marries her sister (Yareli Arizmendi) just so he can be near her. Based on the best selling novel by Laura Esquivel and directed by Alfonso Arau. Like Esquivel's novel but unfortunately not as detailed, the film makes a connection between passion and food. There is something very sensual about a delicious well prepared meal and Esquivel ties it together with the emotional and physical passion of love. The film is a sort of contemporary fable accepting magic as a realistic part of life. For example, when Cavazos' tears drop into the pot as she cooks, when the dinner is served, the guests feel the tremendous sadness that went into the food's preparation. The film has a visual glow to it (the cinematography by the great Emmanuel Lubezki) and imparts a sense of alchemy. But because of a major blunder in the casting, the film never quite worked 100% for me. Leonardi is bland and unable to suggest any sort of passion whatsoever. The film frequently talks about fire but Leonardi can't seem to ignite anything more than a dying ember. With Mario Ivan Martinez and Claudette Maille.

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