Monday, October 6, 2008

Love in the times of Cholera, the movie.

Where do I begin?
It was a worthless piece of ridiculous film making.

I have never been a fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
His supposed grand tale of unrequited love is generally hailed as a masterpiece and some four or five years back when I first read it, I found it overwhelmingly disappointing. Frankly, no matter how much the critics loved it, I couldn’t get around the idea of two 70 years old people consummating their love in most graphical of depictions beautiful or even remotely agreeable and how could after fucking virtually everything in sight, you still believe that you are a virgin is somehow the height of love is totally beyond me. People who haven’t read the novel may find me exaggerating, but it’s true that our protagonist keeps a record of women he slept with and the final number was above six hundred, believing that he is still a virgin. Also, the novel’s sappiness couldn’t be tolerated over 400 pages, at least I couldn’t. Hearing a sappy song for 5 minutes is fine but to read through such a heap of lurvvvvvv and the idiotic glory was too much for me.
Marquez’s technique suffers from a common syndrome amongst supposed greats (All the Russians for example): to go on an on. Unlike Joyce, or Nabokov the story telling takes precedence over prose and imagination runs wild, but unfortunately doesn’t go far enough much like a 5 year old running wild but staying in his backyard. The emphasis is not on the sentence, but on the images he is trying to create, and too many words are wasted. Personally I like prose where words, each word matter and each sentence, the sound of sentence has a place in the over all structure of the story. I fell in love with Toni Morrison’s Paradise on her first sentence, and for that matter don’t think I’d ever forget the opening of Satanic Verses or the ending of Ulysses. You take a ‘yes’ out and prose is not the same, unlike Marquez, where you can easily skip a chapter where “Florentino Ariza” manages to fuck twenty women, without missing a thing.

On personal scale, the novel was 3 out of 10 in my ratings.

So, when I started with the movie, my expectations were already low. But still the movie was such a colossal fuck, that I was surprised. Yeah, I don’t like the story, but at least the film-making could be better. I still have no idea why the director decided to chose two different actors for playing the same character in their 20s and 30s, who have no resemblance whatsoever and even their accents are different? I can’t get around the fact that while at 70, our heroine’s whole body is old, but her legs and hands look so fresh (The makeup was worse than any B movie). The movie jumps from one scene to another, totally incoherently, and for all the vices that I found in the prose, at least it was coherent.

People with glorified version of love may like the movie, but for me, if love is what it is as portrayed in the film, love itself is cholera, because certainly it does make you nauseous.

Over-all, it was a must-stay-away-from movie. I can’t bring myself to give it a single point on a scale of 0-10 and a total waste of time and money.


Majaz said...

I agree.

To wait forever for love is stupid.

raheel said...

// The emphasis is not on the sentence, but on the images he is trying to create, and too many words are wasted. Personally I like prose where words, each word matter and each sentence,//

u read im in translation.. though i aint big on marquez but delighting in the image is his forte ...but u know the beautiful thing abt his ppl is the possibility of loving multiple individuals and being honest with all of em... take 100 years of solitude ..the way he develops a character reveals his mastery of the craft...its more of an allegory than a literal saga of "love" surviving the corrosive affect of time ..i dun knw .. similarly doestoyvesy,turgenev,gogool or a tolstoy (i hate im ..neva finished ny of his books) are more abt the pangs of the perceived(?) persecution of the tsar or Bolshevik gulag or the inner hell ... i dun knw..

nyho real nice place u have here and what u said abt molly's yes made me smile :)
be smug

Barooq said...

Why so serious :P?

Every reader reads for what he loves. I've learned to admire not the glorious tales of fame or fotune, love and suffering, but the sentence and its structure, a single word and words en masse.

And I'd prefer much mundanne subjects over all things glorious anyway...

Yeah, translation sometimes can fuck things up, but not always. I've been in love with Borges, based on translations alone, and don't think paulo coelho would suck less in his own language anyway :)

Majaz said...


Put a smile on my face.