Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Read the book, seen the movie.

I must say that the movie did follow the book closely, up to quoting direct words from the book. For instance, when Dr Juvenal Urbino was about to die, he uttered the words to his wife, Fermina Daza "only God knows how much I loved you". But to understand the movie, one must read the book. There are too many things left unexplained in the movie. Whoever thought that it is a good idea to translate the book into a movie, must have thought that the sexual contents in this book would make into a great movie. Not.

For one, there are too many things happening in the lives of the characters which I think is better left to the imagination of the readers. For example, the many carnal relationship of Florentino Ariza, the antagonist in this book. All his illicit affairs conducted in silence and from women who took pity on him. Even so, not all of his relationship was explained, or even featured in the movie - the precious friendship between him and Leona Cassiani, his employee whom he did love but never had any sexual relationship. Or his sexual relationship with a 14-year old charge, America Vicuna, when he is already 76 years old, and broke her heart, which ultimately resulted in her suicide. Also, not featured in the movie.

The heroine, Fermina Daza, was played by an actor, which to me did not captured the essence of Fermina's character. In the book, the author painted her as someone rigid, beautiful and quite regal in the way she carries herself, from the time she was a young girl till the time she is widowed at the age of 70+. The actor did not potray the haughtiness that her character is suppose to be, and she is giddy with emotions and not restrained as according to the book. It is contrary to Fermina's character. The actor was also not beautiful in the conventional way, which Fermina is supposed to be, she looked older when she is supposed to be in her teens and she looked young when she is supposed to be in her 70s. Oh well, blame it on the makeup...

Benjamin Bratt potrayed Dr Juvenal Urbino quite charmingly in the movie. But then, it is a shame that the movie did not feature his relationship with Jeremiah de Saint-Amour as in the beginning of the novel as it would have been quite interesting to see the differences in both characters. Or that it didn't focus on their marital problems or Dr Urbino's diificulties on growing old and how Fermina helped her husband get through the day.

In the end, the movie that wanted to capture the love Florention Ariza felt for Fermina Daza for more than 50 years, failed to bring a credible emotion. I think it is better to leave it to the book and the imagination of the readers....

That is my humble opinion on the movie adaptation of the "Love in the time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel prize winning author.

Trivia: this book was also featured in the movie Serendipity, played by Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack, on which it was written Kate's phone number and was later lost to John but he managed to find it again.


hnyhar said...

akak masih ingat lagi masa kat matrik dulu..time nuwal ketawa sorang2 dlm toilet..ingatkan apalaa yg berlaku..rupe2nye tgh baca novel..

Beautiful Life said...

Hehehe...akak ingat lagi habit lama saya...*malu*

hnyhar said...