‘The Book of Life’ review

The official theatrical poster for

Theatrical poster released by 20th Centuy FOX

The official theatrical poster for "The Book of Life" film.

Rebecca Bullock, Entertainment staffer

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There’s always been some speculation about where we go when we die. Perhaps there’s another world after we pass away, or maybe we’re reincarnated into another life. But perhaps our lives are told from start to finish in a book, even before we reach certain parts of our future. This book can be found in a movie called
“The Book of Life” and is called by the same name.

“The Book of Life” begins with a set of rebellious, detention-serving students being led by a museum curator to a large book called the Book of Life. The story in the book is to inspire the children to make better life choices. As the story progresses, it delves into a love story mixed with a serious of dangerous bets.

The movie, rather than just being a cliché love story, delves into a portion of Mexican culture by incorporating a Mexican holiday called The Day of the Dead (or Dίa de los Muertos in Spanish.) The main characters Marίa (voiced by Zoe Saldana), Joaquin (Channing Tatum) and Manolo (Diego Luna) are introduced by the two gods that rule over separate afterlives. One is La Muerte (death), who rules the Land of the Remembered, and the other is Xibalba (place of fear), who rules the Land of the Forgotten. The plot unfolds based on a bet the gods make which involves the main characters. Who will marry Marίa?

A strange aspect of the movie is that the main characters are made to look like wooden dolls. You can see the joints where the pieces of wood connect to each other. Technically, the story is being told by the museum curator, who uses wooden dolls shaped like the story’s characters.

But that aspect is easily overlooked when the movie begins, excluding a scene or two. The story captures the watcher from start to finish, and there is more than one true meaning to the story, depending on the watcher’s perspective.

There are twists, obstacles and hardships that the main characters have to overcome with a pinch of romance to pull it all together.

Overall, I rate this movie four stars out of five.