Saturday, October 11, 2014

Movie Review: The Book of Life #bookoflife

When I first heard there was going to be a movie based on the Day of the Dead, I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know that it would be the funniest movie I've seen in a long time. I was fascinated by the animated details in the film such as the characters' costumes and the props in the film.

The movie takes you on a journey of three interwoven characters, two that are boys that fight for a girl's love. The main character, Maria, is very much loved by the two different boys, Joaquin and Manolo. She also keeps getting in trouble with her dad for doing foolish things so she gets sent to Spain until she becomes an adult. When she returns, she is reunited with her two guy friends and they will stop at nothing to win her love.  

My favorite character in the film was definitely "La Muerte." She plays one of the matchmakers in the film and through her we see the true meaning of Day of the Dead. We catch a glimpse as to why the holiday is celebrated and we even see the famous pan de muerto that is offered for the dead. The audience of this film will certainly enjoy the many themes featured in the movie. 

I had a chance to watch the advanced screening of this film at Fox studios and after the movie there was a question and answer section with the director, Jorge Gutierrez and producer Guillermo del Toro. Both of them explained how they both celebrate Day of the Dead with their families. Jorge was exposed to death at a young age when his childhood best friend died. He dedicated this film to his grandpa and childhood friend. The producer also celebrates Day of the Dead and he enjoyed one theme of the movie which is to enjoy life and to never forget your loved ones. That is the meaning of Day of the Dead, to never forget your loved ones. 

The producer explained that the premiere of the movie took place in Mexico and the audience received the movie very well. The director, who grew up in Tijuana, also has deep ties to Mexico and his extended family attended the premiere and loved it. The producer explained that it took 6 years to make the movie. 

The characters in the movie are very unique in that they come in wooden form. The director explained that the characters' forms came from his love of Mexican folk art and wooden toys. La Muerte, a character in the film, was hard to design. 

You will find many themes in the film and the producer explained that there is definitely a lot of humor. For example, in the film Mexico is the center of the universe. Guillermo went on to explain that this film will take you on a journey to discover a new flavor and a new place and culture.

After the question and answer session with the director and executive producer, we had the chance to get our faces painted and to decorate cupcakes. I chose to paint my face as I've never been painted in this fashion to celebrate the Day of the Dead. 

I definitely recommend this film to children and families because it can bring up a dialogue about many issues such as the death of loved ones and how they are celebrated by a certain culture. I hope you get a chance to take this journey into the Day of the Dead. 

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