The Day of the Dead falls on Halloween and is celebrated in the Mexican culture. Their holiday focuses on memories and having a day to remember and celebrate family, including those of the living and of the dead. The Book of Life by 20th Century Fox decided to create a film taking a unique twist on the meaning of the holiday.
Battle of the Deities
In Mexican culture, there are two worlds that spirits are split into. The Land of The Remembered, and The Land of The Forgotten. Each are guarded by a deity that rules over their own world within the spirit world. Of course, immortals will interfere with mortals using them to decide debates and arguments. A love triangle created a bet each picking a man for the dear Maria to fall in love with.
Players of the Game
La Muerte is the ruler of the Land of the Remembered. Her appearance is of a decorated skeleton who is married to Xibalba. She represents her kingdom by being fair and loyal ensuring that those who moves on to the afterlife will find piece and other members of their family.
Xibalba rules over the Land of the Forgotten the realm spirits go when there is no one left in the world of the living to remember their pasting. He is cunning using tricks to gain advantages in contests against his wife.
Candle Maker is represented by creating the candles of life. Each candle is related to a soul and when the flame goes out a life is over. His job is to watch over the Book of Life, a record of what occurs to the candles while they are lit. He is a jolly man that sees the good and bad in people from residing over countless souls.
Joaquin Mondragon is the hero of the town after receiving a medal from Xibalba that makes him immortal. He is loyal to his friends but also vain embracing the fame gain from being a hero.
Maria Posada is a kind but furious woman that is known for freeing animals to prevent them from being slaughtered by the butchers.
Manolo Sanchez is a guitarist and is the youngest in a family of bull fighters, He is compassionate and thinks that its wrong to kill a bull once its defeated.
Meaning behind the Title
There are several stories told throughout the film all connecting to the title of the movie. The film is a play on the concept that we oversee our own story and are actions are the words written on the pages of the book attached to our lives.
I would give this film a seven out of ten rating. The creation of the characters and backdrops were vivid and full of details adding depth to the story. However, there was a lack of depth to the character each taking a role in a story but lack characteristics outside of this role.
The Book of Life is filled with Mexican culture and influences taking a unique spin on explaining the day of the day. Instead of the Mexican culture being the focus it’s the backdrop to a more spiritual question. The concept of fate and if our lives are already writer or if we are authors to our own stories. If there is a deeper meaning to life and are we nothing more then ink on the novels written by the fates?
Now, shush, I’m trying to read