Godiva’s Feast…Not Quite Swiss Miss?
Like Water for Chocolate and Babette’s Feast both use similar mechanisms in the process of telling their respective stories. They entail multiple characters leading similarly constructed but ultimately very different stories. While these mechanisms are indeed similar, they lead to two movies that could unlikely be much more different. Through their use of techniques such as framing, elements such as appealing to the sense of taste, and the ever-important use of analogy, these two movies find a way to allow their audiences the chance to indulge in a new culinary recipe.
Many films try to tease the taste palette, and although these movies have done so for many years, the way in which they do so differs greatly from one film to another. Some movies use food to create simple, yet unforgettable scenes in comic fashion, like Belushi’s cafeteria scene in Animal House. Others, Like Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman, focus on the effects food can have on people directly, through emotion, or indirectly, through being the genesis of gatherings. Much closer to the latter, Babette’s Feast and Like Water for Chocolate do the same, albeit in different manners.
Like Water for Chocolate brings flavor to the palette directly, urging the audience to take part in the tasting by relating each food with the emotion of the chef, Tita. Whether it is love or anger, we are asked to emulate the mindset of the protagonist. Every meal prepared in the movie elicits a series of symptoms from the characters, responding to the original emotions of the cook while the meal was prepared. This technique provides a direct connection for the audience and prevents a viewer from allowing themselves to be isolated from the story line and its character development.
Perhaps in a manner not emphasizing food, Babette’s Feast, seems to use food merely as a means of conveyance. While the movie culminates in a... [continues]
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