One of the best ways and most pleasant ways to learn more about culture of a particular country is to watch the movie depicting its culture and directed by a director originated from this country. One of such films is Como Agua para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate). It is a film that gives a deep insight into Hispanic culture and traditions. It tells about relationships between people, family traditions, national food and customs.
The film was screened in 1992 by a Spanish director Alfonso Arau. The film is based on a famous novel with the same title by Laura Esquivel. It is a romantic love story that was interfered with strict national traditions. The story is set in Mexico, it times of the Mexican Revolution. Two young people are falling in love, but they cannot be together because of a tradition that presupposes that the youngest daughter in the family should not get married and stay with her mother doing housework. The film is filled with magic related to cooking.
So, the main characters of the film are young people that experience a forbidden love. Tita (protagonist) was born the third and last daughter in the family. According to old superstition, Tita has no right married, she must live with her mother and help her. She becomes a family cooker.
However, one cannot escape one’s fate and girl falls in love with a young man Pedro, a very nice local boy. He also loves her and makes a proposal. However, Tita’s mother refuses. Pedro has to marry Tina’s sister to be closer to his bellowed girl. Two people live close to one another, but they cannot be together. At the end of the film, they finally find a way to be together, but after marriage Pedro dies and Tita kills herself.
As it has already been mentioned, the film is filled with mysticism. There is an allegory to food. This allegory comes for the first time in the scene of Pedro’s and Rosaura’s wedding. When Tita prepared a wedding cake, she cried and her tears filled the cake.
All guests in the wedding were crying as well when they were eating it. Thus, Tita understood that she could communicate with her dear Pedro through food. The film is very rich in metaphors, as well as in symbols: dishes and their ingredients are symbolic, the name of Rosaura’s daughter – Esperanze (which means hope), and even the title of the movie is a symbol of Tita’ and Pedro’s love.
There can be two explanations to the title. The idiom “como agua para chocolate” means passion and love “people melt as chocolate melts in hot water” and the second explanation relates to the marriage of Rosaura and Pedro “the chocolate made with water instead of milk has the same look, but the taste is not that good”.
Analyzing film is a great activity that not only develops your critical thinking, but gives you the possibility to learn more about people, their lives and feelings. In addition, if this film depicts foreign culture, you broader your intellectual horizons.