Like Water for Chocolate (film)
|Like Water 4 Chocolate|
|Directed by||Alfonso Arau|
|Produced by||Alfonso Arau|
|Written by||Laura Esquivel|
Mario Iván Martínez
|Release date(s)||16 April 1992|
|Running time||123 min|
|Box office||$21,665,468 (USA) |
Like Water for Chocolate is a 1992 film in the style of magical realism based on the popular novel, published in 1989 by first-time Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel. It earned all 11 Ariel awards of the Mexican Academy of Motion Pictures, including the Ariel Award for Best Picture, and became the highest grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the United States at the time.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (December 2009)|
Early in "Like Water for Chocolate", the audience learns that the protagonist, Tita, is forbidden to marry because of a family tradition. Therefore, when the boy she has been flirting with, Pedro, and his father come to ask for Tita’s hand in marriage, Tita's mother, Mama Elena, refuses. Mama Elena offers her other daughter, Rosaura, and Pedro accepts in order to be closer to Tita. Tita bakes the wedding cake with tears causing vomiting, crying, and a longing for their true love in all those who eat it. Mama Elena goes to look at a photo of a man who is later revealed to be her other daughter Gertrudis's true father, news which kills Mama Elena's husband. A year passes and Tita puts her feelings for Pedro in a meal of rose petals. Tita's heat and passion transfers to Gertrudis upon eating the meal. She attempts to cool down by taking a shower, but is overcome with lust and runs off naked with revolutionary soldiers.
Rosaura gives birth to a baby boy, but Tita is the one, who through Pedro's gaze, is able to nurse the child. Mama Elena is suspicious of Tita's intentions, and sends Rosaura and Pedro away. Tita blames the succeeding death of the baby on Elena and is then secluded in a dovecote entering a catatonic like state. Dr. John Brown takes Tita away to care for her in Texas. He tells her an ancient story which says that all humans are born with enough matches to burn like a candle. But to set off this fire, every person must find their own trigger. They must also be careful to not set off all their internal matches at once, or risk immolation. Tita eventually enters into a relationship with Dr. Brown after recovering, and reluctantly plans to marry him. Mama Elena is attacked by revolutionaries, so Rosaura and Pedro return for the funeral. Rosaura soon gives birth to a second child, Esperanza. Soon after, Dr. Brown is called away and Pedro and Tita succumb to their emotions and sleep together. Mama Elena returns to haunt Tita, convincing her that she is pregnant with Pedro's child. That night, Gertrudis returns to the ranch as a general with her revolutionary husband. She helps Tita banish Mama Elena and realize it was an imaginary pregnancy. Upon Dr. Brown's return, Tita tells him that she slept with another man and he reluctantly allows her to break their engagement.
Twenty years pass, and the audience learns that Rosaura died of "severe digestive problems". Pedro confesses to Tita that he still loves her, and wants to marry her. Tita and Pedro then make love, igniting their "matches" or passions too quickly, killing Pedro just as he has a sensuous orgasm. Tita then swallows matches, lighting the entire ranch on fire in the process. Rosaura's daughter returns to the ranch and finds only Tita’s cookbook, which contained her recipes and told of her and Pedro’s love story.
- Lumi Cavazos as Tita
- Marco Leonardi as Pedro Muzquiz
- Regina Torné as Mamá Elena
- Mario Iván Martínez as Doctor John Brown
- Ada Carrasco as Nacha
- Yareli Arizmendi as Rosaura
- Claudette Maillé as Gertrudis
- Pilar Aranda as Chencha
- Farnesio de Bernal as Cura
- Joaquín Garrido as Sargento Treviño
- Rodolfo Arias as Juan Alejándrez
- Margarita Isabel as Paquita Lobo
- Sandra Arau as Esperanza Muzquiz
- Andrés García Jr as Alex Brown
- Regino Herrera as Nicolás
- Genaro Aguirre as Rosalio
- David Ostrosky as Juan de la Garza
- Brígida Alexander as Tia Mary
- Amado Ramírez as Padre de Pedro
- Arcelia Ramírez as la bisnieta de Tita
- Socorro Rodríguez as friend of Paquita
- Rafael García Zuazua as godfather
- Rafael García Zuazua Jr as Alex (child)
- Edurne Ballesteros as Tita (teenager)
- Melisa Mares as Rosaura (child)
- Gabriela Canudas as Rosaura (teenager)
- Natalia De la Fuente as Gertrudis (child)
- Beatriz Elías as Gertrudis (teenager)
Double entendre of title
The title was literally translated from the phrase como agua para chocolate, which is a common expression in Mexico and was the inspiration for Laura Esquivel's novel title. In some Latin American countries, such as Mexico, hot chocolate can be made with water instead of milk. Water is boiled and chunks of milk chocolate are dropped in to melt thus creating the hot chocolate. However, the saying also refers to describing a state of passion or – sometimes – sexual arousal or, more popularly, "boiling mad" in anger. The phrase is also commonly used to mean something is "perfect" for something else.
- The film won the Ariel Award for best picture.
- Margarita Isabel won the Ariel Award for Best Actress in a Minor Role for her performance in this film.
- Laura Esquivel Biography
- Neibylski, Dianna C (1998). "Heartburn, Humor and Hyperbole in Like Water for Chocolate". In Hengen, Shannon. Performing Gender and Comedy: Theories, Texts and subtext. Routledge. p. 189. ISBN 90-5699-539-1. Google excerpt.
- Laura Esquivel Biography
- Official website
- Como agua para chocolate at the Internet Movie Database
- Like Water for Chocolate (film) at Box Office Mojo