Film fails to capture magical realism

When “Love in the Time of Cholera” made its way into film, my best friend called me immediately to tell me how badly the producers had ruined my favorite book. I haven’t seen it, but I think I never will after what she told me. I wasn’t even curious about the movie because every time I have read a book and later watched the movie adaptation I’ve been very disappointed.

Generally, the movie version lacks the power to entice me the way books do. And in the case of “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez, I really doubt the the director managed to capture the essence of the book and the deep love that Florentino Ariza felt for Fermina Daza. There’s no way to translate important details like Fermina Daza’s doe-like walk and the “vallenato” for the crowned goddess. It is just to pure for film, and it’s better left for the readers imagination.

I think my best friend is right. After all, it is impossible for Mike Newell, a British director, to understand how significant is this novel for Colombians, and it is also very hard for Giovanna Mezzogiorno, an Italian actress, to capture the character of Fermina Daza. I am sure my friend is right about her poor performance.

Now, “News of a Kidnapping,” which is another one of García Márquez’s books, is going to be filmed and will probably be in theaters by in 2009. I completely agree with  the director of the project, Pedro Pablo Ibarra, when he said that it will be a great challenge for him, but that it will be easier to produce than other works by the same author because it is a journalistic chronicle unlike the other works, which are in the magical realism genre.

I really hope that this book translates better into film than the other ones. At least the producers of the film have García Márquez full support since he is supervising the script for the film.


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