While Héctor and his longtime friend / fellow musician, Ernesto de la Cruz, have always both been ambitious, there’s a fundamental difference in their motivations that’s really interesting to examine. Ernesto’s comes from a place of longing for recognition, I think. He’s always been the more conventionally attractive of the two of them — while Héctor is good-looking, Ernesto has the typical “Movie Star” look that helped him skyrocket to fame — and that, in addition to his talent ( he is undeniably a gifted singer and guitarist, even if he steals all of his friend’s songs ) leads to him having an inflated sense of self. Ernesto, in his own mind, is special. He believes himself deserving of fame and fortune, and will stop at nothing to make that a reality. He’s been promised his time in the sun and lets nothing get in the way of that.
Héctor, on the other hand, views music not as a platform through which to gain money, respect, or admiration, but almost like a language in and of itself. He enjoys performing and sharing his gift with an audience, yes, but at the end of the day, he’d much rather play with his friends in private than for an adoring public. He’s always eager to share his passion with anyone who will listen, and feels that music is the great equalizer, bringing everyone together. When he set out to leave Santa Cecelia behind, it wasn’t to pursue fame like Ernesto wanted — he simply wanted to gain experience and better himself as a musician, to see more of the world and then eventually come home again. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to him until too late that he could have accomplished that without leaving everything that was most important behind.
Miguel asks him in the film why he hates musicians so much if he IS one ( and I’m roughly paraphrasing there, I don’t remember the exact quote. ) Héctor is dismissive of this question, but I believe he has grown resentful of the fact that Ernesto, a man who was close enough to be his brother, a man he thought he KNEW, would choose something like money and fans over the most important aspect of music: SOUL. Heart. Passion. There’s none of that in de la Cruz’s music — especially because he’s not the one who wrote them — and yet he coasted to stardom anyway. He used Héctor and took his entire life away from him, leaving him broken and forgotten while he profits off the songs that once meant so much to Héctor.
In Héctor’s mind, he can look at something like that and say, “Well, if that’s what it takes to be a successful musician, then maybe I don’t want to be one.” When he ends up in the Land of the Dead, all he wants to do is forget. Leave that old life behind and become someone else, someone who doesn’t have to live with knowing that their life is earning someone else fame and fortune.
He gives up music because forgetting is easier — forgetting hurts less.
Even tho I still can’t manage holding my tablet’s pen, my mechanical pencil is slim and light enough to let me draw! Which is why I spent the last few days sketching traditionally - maybe this blog has been inactive long enough to allow me to post shitty pics of shitty pencil doodles too haha
everybody screws up. that’s what happens. it’s what you do with the screw-ups, it’s how you handle the experience - that’s what you should judge yourself by. i have a great life and an amazing kid. and i took a detour, i ended up some place good.