Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Love in the Time of Cholera (Film): A Review

Not a few people have told me of how awful a movie "Love in the Time of Cholera" is.  I was told that the book is one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's best works and that the film did not do it justice.  I avoided reading the reviews, except one, last year.  I clicked the play button on the DVD player trying to be objective about the movie and to at least form some original opinions myself.  I have immensely enjoyed the novel and have elevated it to my All-Time-Favorite-Books List.  Now I must admit that everyone else was right.  

I think that the best thing about Marquez's book is his prose -- it is flowing, melodic, and exquisitely descriptive.  That man has a way with words.  His ideas just smoothly fly off the page and into the deepest recesses of your imagination.  There was none of that in the movie.  I felt like I was watching a movie so amateurish it had to have been made by high schoolers.  

Most of the actors had terrible accents and seemed too artificial and robotic.  I've never seen any of John Leguizamo's films, except probably for Moulin Rouge (where I thought he was good), but this must be one of his worst films ever.  He was so atrocious as Lorenzo Daza that I just had to laugh whenever he showed up on screen.  Fermina Daza was played by the beautiful Giovanna Mezzogiorno.  I would concede that she was somewhat believable.  And her beauty excuses her, in my book.  Javier Bardem, as Florentino Ariza, did a pretty decent job but I (obviously) wasn't blown away.  Benjamin Bratt (Dr. Juvenal Urbino) was plain terrible.  I think one of the few beacons of light in this movie is Hector Elizondo.  He plays Florentino's uncle, Don Leo.   Now he was at least entertaining.

Mike Newell botched this.  Big time.  I really hope someday, some other guy has the guts to pick up Marquez's extraordinary work, turn it into an excellent script that could be made into a film that's worth all of the novel's superlatives.  

Official Film Website



dancerinthedark said...

Gosh, I like Mike Newell, and the trailer looked so promising...I actually stalked the movie website just to wait for the preview. The promos here also made me excited to see the film. Gave me the impression that the movie would have the feel of House of the Spirits, for some reason. Too bad.

karlmd said...

well, my med school friend liked it so maybe you will too. hehe.