Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Troubled by some awkward cuts in this intriguing film, I checked around and found out that Disney chopped the theatrical release from 123 minutes down to 105 for no apparent reason. I can't say much about Like Water for Chocolate as a consequence, because I can only speculate about its full original effect. The 105-minute version is too jumpy and clumsy, but there are dreamy languid sequences that perhaps hint at the original pacing. I was reminded of a Telemundo soap opera, but with lots of magical realism. The mother is cartoonishly awful (¿cómo usted dice no more wire hangers en español?), and there are many very sexy touches (including an acrobatic redhead riding a revolutionary guerrilla cowgirl style while on horseback). Didn't expect the, uh ur--fiery climax at all.
Perhaps somebody will do a more complete DVD release, using a less murky transfer. Still worth seeing in its present frenetic state.