Moview Review: “Like Water for Chocolate”
“Like Water for Chocolate” is popular film derived from a novel by the same name that was created in 1992. The movie earned a 11 Ariel awards of the Mexican Academy of the Motion Pictures which includes the Ariel award for one of the best pictures. Further, the movie became the highest in gross Spanish-language that had ever been released at this time. The main focus of this film is on a young girl by the name Tita who has much wish in marrying her long time lover by the name Pedro. However, she is barred by her family culture which requires that the youngest daughter cannot be married off, but expected to take care of her mother until her death. From this movie, it is clear that Tita is able to express herself in showing her disgust or disapproval to this kind of culture. This paper explores the multicultural aspects presented in this movie.
The film is placed in the context of the Mexican family, whereby; the film’s main character, Tita is forbidden from marrying her long time lover because she is the youngest in the society. When Pedro her lover come to ask her hand in marriage, the mother refuses, citing the family’s cultural background. Interestingly, the mother is more ready to offer her eldest daughter Rosaura who is accepted by Pedro for the purpose of being close to Tita. Consequently, Tita is much offended by this happening and she vomits, smears the cake with the tears and longs for true love (Esquive, 1992).
The Mexican tradition stipulates that the youngest daughter may not marry while the mother is still living. In another perspective, the eldest daughter is the one expected to marry first before others can be allowed to do so. However, it should be considered that at this time, there were no nursing homes that were in existence at this place where the elderly could be taken care of. Moreover, the low economic status and economic downtown did not allow many families to hire nurses or maids that could take care of the elderly. In addition, most people in this culture were not comfortable about being left alone and especially the older generation wanted someone to be a alongside them (Scott et al 2012).
However, some people at this time were discontented with this kind of arrangement. In particular, these people did not agree that a woman should be deprived of their rights of marrying and establishing a family or their career simply because they had a parent to take care of. Tita is a character in this movie who was not happy with this kind of situation in her culture. She therefore, in the strongest terms wanted to use whatever she had to change it. In particular, Tita is in strongest disagreement with her family, especially her mother, Elena whom she bitterly hates for enforcing the traditional culture. Further, Tita also comes to despise Rosaura for her plans to have Esperanza to take care of her until her death (Neibylski, 1998).
Tita endeavors to do many things as a means of avoiding these traditions and culture and consequently, her actions and behavior can be seen as a kind of revolution for this culture. In fact, upon her death, there was no longer the tradition of handing down recipes from mother to daughter and that it was no longer necessary for the youngest daughter to remain unmarried for the purpose of caring her mother. Many other changes could be depicted from Tita’s endeavor.
Mauro (2003) explains that the various social and political disagreements caused animosity among citizens eventually leading a Mexican revolution. Consequently, the feuding that went on led to overthrowing of Porfirio Diaz Mori who was a dictator in Mexico. This revolution brought about social and political changes that stopped many of the traditions and rules in the country. In my perspective, the I think that the director wanted to connect the Mexican revolution to this actual story.
Tita’s character can be equated with her mother Elena, that of commanding and stubborn. These characters caused them to be at loggerheads with one another. This depiction can be related with a small version in the American Revolution in the context of the house to match what was really happening in the country. The American people had been tired with the political and social systems in their country. Similarly, Tita had been tired with the communities’ systems and the power of Elena in her family. Just as the people of Mexico rebelled against their rule, Tita had got tired of Mama Elena’s rule.
Tita had a preference and aspiration to change the tradition of her family especially the aspect that youngest daughters should remain unmarried just to take care of their mothers. She goes on to states various reasons why such a tradition should not prevail or should be discarded at all costs. For example, she poses a question of how unmarried woman would be cared when she gets old since she does not have children of her own. Another question she ponders is why on earth should the youngest daughter have to stay of all people? In other words, why should it not concern the people that there could be a possibility of others remaining and not necessarily the youngest daughter. In light of this, Tita is questioning the kind of her families’ tradition, and she is eager to change every aspect of it. The reason why she is very much concerned on changing it is because according to her, it was not fair for her to remain unmarried.
In essence, anybody watching this movie can have a feeling of sympathy for this character , because despite her having strong love for her lover, she could not marry him because of the family’s culture and tradition.
Indeed watching Like Water for Chocolate movie moved my feelings ad I felt in the same situation which Tita found herself in. In particular, it was difficult for me because Tita had been so upset about her condition and the only thing I had to do was to Sympathize her and the condition that her family culture subjects her. The film has therefore depicted a good aspect of multi culture and showcased that may traditions may be good, there are others like the one shown in this movie which are extremely unsound. This is because they subject some people to mystery. Through this film, we get an insight that changes in tradition may be terminated only if there are people who questions them. Tita is a character who have a believe that change is the only means to end the miseries.