Like Water for Chocolate (film)
|Like Water for Chocolate|
|Directed by||Alfonso Arau|
|Produced by||Alfonso Arau|
|Written by||Laura Esquivel|
Mario Iván Martínez
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|16 April 1992|
|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.
Tita, as the youngest daughter in a traditional Mexican family, is forbidden to marry. Her duty is to care for her mother until the day the mother dies. Therefore, when Pedro, the boy Tita has fallen in love with, 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.
A year later, and Tita's emotions again infuse a meal that she cooks. Her heat and passion transfers to her sister Gertrudis, who, overcome with lust, attempts to cool down by taking a shower, only to be scooped up and carried off by a passing revolutionary soldier.
Rosaura gives birth to a baby boy, but Tita is the one who is able to nurse the child. Mama Elena is suspicious of Tita's intentions toward Pedro, and sends Rosaura and Pedro away. Tita blames the consequent death of the baby on her mother and, grief-stricken, Tita falls into a catatonic-like state.
Dr. John Brown, a kind and considerate man, takes Tita away to care for her in Texas. Tita eventually enters into a relationship with Dr. Brown after recovering, and reluctantly plans to marry him.
The sound track near the beginning and more explicitly near the end of the film recognizably quotes a passage from Wagner's opera, Tristan und Isolde. The plot of that opera can be related to the theme of the movie: Tristan and Isolde unknowingly drink a love potion that causes them to fall insatiably in love with each other, but they are unable to consummate the love because Isolde is destined to marry King Mark. At the end they both die. The musical passage represents the passion of their unfulfilled longing. Mama Elena is killed 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 that her pregnancy was imaginary. 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 Rosaura dies of "severe digestive problems". Pedro confesses to Tita that he still loves her, and wants to marry her. Tita and Pedro then make love, but Pedro dies just as he has a sensuous orgasm. Tita then swallows matches, setting the entire ranch on fire in the process. The daughter of Esperanza, nicknamed "Tita" after her great-aunt, 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.
Like Water for Chocolate received positive reviews from critics, as the film holds a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 30 reviews.
- 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.
- Official website
- Como agua para chocolate at the Internet Movie Database
- Like Water for Chocolate at Box Office Mojo
- Like Water for Chocolate at Rotten Tomatoes