Starring: Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos, Regina Torné
Director: Alfonso Arau
Running Time: 105 mins
Like Water For Chocolate (Como agua para chocolate) is a Mexican film about a young woman, forbidden to marry the man she really loves by her tyrant of a mother, who struggles through her life for decades trying to achieve her dream life.
I was impressed by this film. It’s a very romantic and emotional story, which I fully expected to be both cheesy and soppy, but it was in fact as intriguing and emotional as it seemed to intend, both in the story of the unrequited love and the strong conflicts between various characters.
That was why I thought that this film started particularly strongly, because there was a good mix of a nice-ish romance story, which didn’t always take the forefront of the story, as most romances do, and a lot of intra-family conflict.
The conflict was by far the most intriguing, hard-hitting and exciting part of the story. Looking at the traditional restrictiveness of Mexican culture at the end of the 19th Century, the representation of the tension between the mother (who reminded me quite a lot of Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) and the daughter.
And I really felt how strong that was by the fact that I had such firm emotions when thinking about the characters. The daughter, Tita, is adorable and strong-willed, so I was always willing her to succeed, whereas with the mother, every time she appeared on screen, I felt a burning hatred and frustration towards her.
That was by the far the most successful story line of the film, however the romance was surprisingly interesting and entertaining. With a ‘prince charming’ that wasn’t too cheesy, a love triangle that wasn’t too irritating and a romance that looked a lot deeper than the idea of true love, I was fully engrossed in this story.
Overall, this gets an 8.1, because it was a very well-written, intriguing and deeply emotional film that grabbed me from the start.