After reading the last page of the book I immediately dropped my lunch plans and headed straight to the nearest shop that stocks the DVD of Mike Newell’s film adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera.
I was so excited to watch the film! I made sure dinner was finished by 8pm and the kids are asleep by 8.30pm.
It still baffles me why filmmakers would choose to make a movie in English spoken with a thick non-English accent. Any film done in this manner is pretty hard to take seriously. And the actors just sounded ridiculous. Why can’t they just do it in straight English? Or better yet, why not just use Spanish which was the book’s original language?
Giovanna Mezzogiorno certainly looked beautiful all throughout the film but her portrayal of Fermina Daza somewhat fell short of what the author intended. I found it really challenging to find something in her that would make Florentino Ariza linger for over half a century. I think it was pertinent that the audience fall in love with her to make the film more plausible.
There was also a lot of “verbalisation” of emotions. I did not want the actors to “say” what their character is going through or what their character is feeling! I want to see it in their performance!
Mike Newell (director) and his scriptwriter Ronald Harwood opted for a literal interpretation of the book rather than a combination of fantasy and realism which is what characterises Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s works. As a consequence the film looks clumsy and incomplete.
In the end I couldn’t help but wonder how a director with a better understanding of the author’s language and culture – Pedro Almodóvar perhaps or even our very own Carlitos Siguion-Reyna – would have handled it.