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Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies

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  • As for the story, it requires a lot of patience and suspension of disbelief. Like I said, magic realism uses fantastical happenings to add depth to reality, so in the movie it’s assumed that everything occurring is as real as the characters see it to be. Some will find it weird (especially logical, passionless beings with no imagination whatsoever), but for those that Like Water for Chocolate will speak to, it’s quite an enjoyable experience. I recommend reading the book before watching the movie so you can prepare yourself for the unusual things that will happen. For some reason, it’s easier to read about it and have it play out inside your head rather than having a director show the Esquivel’s images for you.

    Like Water for Chocolate is the fourth studio album by American hip hop rapper Common, released March 28, 2000 on MCA Records. It was a considerable critical and commercial breakthrough for Common, receiving generally favorable reviews from major magazine publications and selling 70,000 copies in its first week. The album was certified Gold on August 11, 2000 by the Recording Industry Association of America. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album has sold 748,000 copies by March 2005. The…

  • Sexuality is also a significant theme within "Like Water for Chocolate" (1989). As argued by Glen (1994), "Tita was the transmitter, Pedro the receiver, and poor Gertrudis the medium, the conducting body through which the singular sexual message was passed" (p. 42), thus once again depicting the way in which stereotypical female and male characteristics are inversed. This concept is demonstrated by the way in which Gertrudis escapes with a revolutionary, who "Without slowing his gallop, so as not to waste a moment, he leaned over, put his arm around her waist, and lifted her onto the horse in front of him, face to face, and carried her away" (Esquive, 1989, p 55), while her time spent in a brothel in order to satisfy her sexual needs is a parodic inversion of sexual roles. The same notion is also displayed by Gertrudis' ability on the battlefield, while Tita and Pedro's first sexual encounter, during which "Pedro ... pulled her to a brass bed ... and, throwing himself upon her, caused her to lose her viginity and learn of true love" (Esquive, 1989, p. 158), simply demonstrates the way in which her culinary powers enabled her to win the man she loved.

    No, Like Water for Chocolate is not a south-of-the-border remake of The Donna Reed Show. Set on a Mexican ranch near the turn of the century, it’s a glazed romantic-erotic fantasy that celebrates the intermingled powers of love, imagination, and food. That these are all abundantly good things is beyond dispute. Yet Like Water for Chocolate is a mushy, passive piece of moviemaking. The film presents its heroine as a creature of simple, earthy desires — St. Tita of the Divinely Minced Onion — and then sets her up against a spiteful witch of a mother (Regina Torne) who won’t allow her to marry the man she adores. Can the power of love triumph over Victorian repression? Do we really need to watch this dilemma again?

    Like Water for Chocolate
    Laura Esquivel
    No preview available - 2010

  • topics  posts  views  last activity   
    2016 Reading Chal...: Like Water for Chocolate (Mexico) 3 12 May 30, 2016 08:04AM  
    The 2016 Reading ...: World Lit Group Read (Central America, Mexico & Caribbean - May 2016) - Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel 5 27 May 21, 2016 07:49PM  
    Club de Lectura B...: Como Agua Para Chocolate, Laura Esquivel 1 2 May 21, 2016 09:30AM  
    Unfortunate racial portrayals of this book 14 62 Feb 15, 2016 05:06AM  
    Chocolatada 1 16 Dec 08, 2015 05:38PM  
    Verbeelding Bookclub: Oktoberboek 11 60 Oct 31, 2015 01:05AM  

    Como Agua Para Chocolate or Like Water For Chocolate was Mexican writer Laura Esquivel’s debut novel. It is packed full of magical realism, serving to mix together the ordinary and day to day, with elements of the supernatural, and was made into a popular film of the same title in 1992. It is one of the most well known works of Mexican Literature read widely in translation in the English Speaking World.

Like Water for Chocolate - YouTube

Years ago, in California, I walked into a gas station convenience store to buy some consumable or other. The man who took my money was a Mexican emigre, and he saw that I was carrying a copy of the book Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. He asked how I liked it, and I told him I was loving it. He told me not to miss the movie.

"Oh," I answered, "but I always worry that the movie will never be as good as the book."

"It doesn't matter," he told me. "This is a very great film. And it is the first real Mexican film I have ever seen shown in this country. You know, to everybody, not just the Mexican community."

I smiled and told him I would check it out, but honestly, I had no idea what he was talking about. After all, I knew who Dolores Del Rio and Cantinflas were, and the movies with them that I had seen were shown in L.A., to everybody.

But now, at last, I have seen this movie, and now, at last, I know what this guy was talking about. Like, wow! This really is a real Mexican film! Art! Cinema! More than just a bit of popular fluff!

Tender, compassionate and very witty, like the book on which it is based, this movie celebrates Mexican culture -- not just on the food, the preparation of which forms the premise of the story, but as kind of a rollicking take on the history of the young country at the turn of the century. It celebrates the music, the style of life on a ranch, the strength of the extended family, the beauty of the land, and the ethnic mixing pot that is every Mexican.

There is so much reckless joy and passionate love in this film, even when it portrays pain. It openly depicts female eroticism. (Plus, for a big change from US cinema, we get to see beautiful men and women of many shapes, sizes and colors all on the same screen.) The acting is flawless, and the star, Lumi Cavazos, is absolutely charming, full of life and credibility.

The only flaws I found in this film were minor and had to do with timing. For example, the final ascent to the climax seems to have been shortchanged a little bit. I would have liked to reach through this scene a little more slowly.

To judge Mexican cinema by the type of films I had seen before this one would be like judging U.S. cinema on the basis of Jerry Lewis or some cheesy melodramas from the '40s and '50s, but not taking into account any of our real film art. I'd love to know what else I've missed. Can't wait to find out.