The Book of Life Brightens My Life!
A Review on The Book of Life
Review by Jacquelyn Phillips
Whether you’ve had a hard day at work, a bad day at school, or are having a rough time at home, this is the movie I would recommend you go out and see. Escape from reality with the charming story of love and life written and directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez. The animation is fantastic—rather than your average animated movie where the characters are supposed to resemble actual human beings, we find ourselves viewing wooden dolls with ridiculous attributes such as noses on the side of the face, shoulders that are the size of a building, and feet that are the size of raisins.
The Book of Life is one of those feel good movies where you walk out of the theatre truly believing that nothing could possibly go wrong—if you live your life with a true and loyal heart, than everything will turn out the way you hoped.
We follow the story of three best (troublemaking) friends: Manolo, Maria and Joaquin. Maria is the innocent little girl stuck between two friends fighting for her heart—Manolo with his music and Joaquin with his courage. La Muerte and Xibalba, the gods who overlook the Land of the Remembered and the Land of the Forgotten, make a bet on the children as to who Maria will eventually marry when she becomes a woman. Manolo must choose between following the kindness of his heart with the duty to his family, while Joaquin must choose between marrying Maria and saving their hometown, or forever travelling to protect the lives of others. The ending tale is pretty predictable, but not at all disappointing.
There are some very heavy morals behind the story, but that is what makes the movie so incredibly sweet. Although there are adult themes—a love triangle between three best friends, living up to your family’s expectations, war, the idea of a culture being destroyed for ultimate power—they are addressed in a way that isn’t violent, sexual or overtly obnoxious, which most movies have a tendency to do these days. The heart always wins in the end—that’s what children and adults alike and different should take from this film.
Gutierrez also uses subtle humor and thematic stereotypes that ACTUALLY WORK. Instead of throwing dirty jokes in viewers’ faces or overusing the idea of a love triangle between two guy friends and their best girl friend, he managed to bring about these ideas in a fresh and appropriate manner. With the help of the unique and relatable soundtrack, the voices and personalities of big name actors (Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, and Christina Applegate to name a few), and unbelievable attention to detail, this movie is sure to make your collection once it comes out on DVD and Blu Ray.
I would have to say that The Book of Life was a GREAT success! If you crave more information about the movie, feel free to click the following link: CLICK.