I am writing two separate movies today: Like Water for Chocolate and Lucia Y El Sexo. These are both Spanish films.
Like Water for Chocolate was unfortunately dubbed in English and may have lost a bit of its magic in the screen during translation. The second time around, we decided to watch Lucia Y El Sexo with English subtitles to have a better capture of the thought and nuances of ideas and emotions among the characters.
I was deeply fascinated with the strong feminine quality of the character in Like Water for Chocolate. I did not know that it was that graphic and morbid. In the bookstores, the original book from where it was inspired looks quiet and unassuming with a very harmless cover. I nurtured the idea that it was a feel good book. Kind of reminds me of a Yann Martel novel with a cover of cute animals who ended up savagely killing each other in the book. You can’t really judge a book by its cover.
Lucia’s movie plot is quite riveting. It had a lot of these circular and interesting story arcs. These are the top elements that make me go nuts for TV shows like Doctor Who and Fringe. The story is about this ultra-hot waitress who gets entangled in a romantic relationship with a man who shut her out about many things in his present and past. The whole drama unfolds out of that in such an artistic way. Small wonder that it got a lot of accolades among critics worldwide. The waitress is a martyr and the guy she is with depicts the image of a tortured artist or moody writer with a lot of dark secretes, ehem, SECRETS.
I was told that few Spanish films do not have graphic scenes in them. Here in the Philippines, these two films would be branded as SPG for the explicit intimate scenes depicted. But it touches on really interesting issues. The machismo among men is apparent for both, regardless of the different setting times that each story has.
I don’t think either of these two Spanish films can make for a good bedtime movie because it’s quite thought provoking and complex. I think it kept me more awake than I’d personally want. If I’d watch it again probably I’d pick a lazy afternoon when I need something better than coffee to keep me awake and trudge through the rest of the day.
I had a very delightful experience. I usually have my biases for French films and this is a new experience for me. 🙂 I can probably strive to look for more subtitled films in the future because in the absence of a constantly traveling lifestyle, consuming foreign media is something that is just as educational about other things in this big world. (And this world is big and small at the same time.)