The Book of Life
Synopsis: Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest fears.
Diego Luna as Manolo (voice)
Zoe Saldana as Maria (voice)
Channing Tatum as Joaquin (voice)
Ron Perlman as Xibalba (voice)
Christina Applegate as Mary Beth (voice)
Ice Cube as Candle Maker (voice)
Kate del Castillo as La Muerte (voice)
The screen play had a substantial re-write by Paul Chart, one of the top script doctors in the industry. The original title of the story was, “El Matador”, changed to, “Day of the Dead”, changed again to it’s current, “The Book of Life”. The story was re-worked in October of 2011.
What the movie is about
The story is based on a trio of friends. Manolo, Joaquin and Maria. Set in Mexico, Manolo and Joaquin soon fall in love with the beautiful Maria and fight for her attention but as they grow more troublesome in their advance, they cause inattentively mayhem in the city which push the father’s of Maria, the mayor, to send her away in spain. It would be several years later that the three friends would yet again meet. Manolo as a matador who’s more interested in playing guitar where is true passion lie, Joaquin who has now become a great soldier, protector of the city, and the beautiful Maria who has now become a very beautiful and educated woman.
As they meet again, Manolo and Joaquin soon resume their competition for Maria attention and now her hand in marriage. The triangle of love has attracted the attention of Xibalba, Kind of the forgotten real, and La Muerte, Queen of the remembered real. The action begin when a bet ensue between La Muerte and Xibalba where they must choose who will win the affection of Maria and to the winner goes the command of their respective kingdom. La Muerte bet on Manolo, the artist, and Xibalaba on Joaquin, the soldier.
As things progress, Xibalaba can now clearly see that Joaquin is losing to Manolo and decide to interfere so that he can still win against La Muerte. To do so, he charge is loyal serpent to trick Manolo where the result will be his death which will cause Maria to choose Joaquin as husband. From then on, Manolo who is now a specter in the Remembered real try to ascend to the living world with the help of all the past member of his family so that he can return to his precious Maria. From challenge to challenge, the movie is full of laugh and beautiful animation.
What I liked about the movie
A beautiful animation based on right and wrong according to our ancestors and how those same people may judge you from beyond the grave in what is describe as the forgotten real and the unforgotten. I liked the light humor and peaceful battle between Joaquin and Monolo for the heart of Maria.
What I didn’t like about the movie
I pretty much-loved the movie so I can’t really say that I REALLY didn’t like something in particular. If I absolutely had to pick something, it would be the story itself. I didn’t like that they use to old cliché of a love triangle in which the loving artist who lives by his heart should win over the practical man.
Should you go see it – 8/10
If you like love story that are light and full of action which cause nothing but laughs and pleasure, just go for it. The story is very well thought of and the animation team did a great job putting it all together. The Book of Life is the kind of movie that everybody win in the end even the bad guy. The movie is targeted at the child inside each of us. Try it.