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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Love in the Time of Cholera (2007)

Love in the Time of Cholera (2007)

1 rating: -1.0
Drama movie

There's no reason an Englishman shouldn't take on a landmark in Latin American literature.Four Weddings and a Funeral, after all, proves Mike Newell has a feel for romance. Adapted byThe Pianist's Ronald Harwood,Love in the Time of Cholerais … see full wiki

1 review about Love in the Time of Cholera (2007)

Gabriel García Márquez' novel 'El amor en los tiempos del cólera' without the Magical Realism

  • Mar 20, 2008
Rating:
-1
For devotees of Gabriel García Márquez this unprofessional adaptation of his sweepingly romantic novel 'El amor en los tiempos del cólera' will sadly disappoint. Ronald Harwood's screenplay is a patchwork quilt that attempts to tell the story of longing for love in the manner of a novella/travelogue and despite the presence of some very fine actors in the key roles, director Mike Newell forgets to grasp the atmosphere that makes the original novel ethereal.

Young Florentino Ariza (Unax Ugalde) is a poor dreamer working as a telegraph operator and sees and falls in love with young Fermina Daza (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), daughter of a wealthy mule trader Lorenzo Daza (John Leguizamo) who upon hearing of the infatuation whisks Fermina away as Florentino pledges undying love and fidelity to Fermina. Florentino's mother Tránsito (Fernanda Montenegro), his uncle Leo (Hector Elizondo), and his friend Lotario Thugut (Liev Schreiber) comfort him and try to encourage his mating with another woman, but as Florentino matures (now Javier Bardem) even the long list of sexual encounters cannot turn his mind away from Fermina. Fermina marries Dr. Juvenal Urbino (Benjamin Bratt), travels widely, has his child and ultimately discovers her husband's infidelity. Florentino inherits his Uncle's shipping wealth, becoming one of the wealthy class that would have made him an eligible suitor for Fermina when he originally met her. But time changes everything except Florentino's commitment to Fermina and after the death of Dr. Urbino, he has the chance to realize his long awaited dream of being with the now 70+ year old lover.

The story spans fifty years in an unnamed city in Colombia (here Cartagena) and across the beauty of both South America and Europe. All of the basic elements are in place: the important missing piece is the magic of Gabriel García Márquez's prose. The huge cast is wasted on a script that is less than pedestrian: Javier Bardem tries to make Florentino a credible sympathetic character but is stuck in the mud of his lines; the brilliant Fernanda Montenegro attempts to paste together the pared down role of Florentino's mother; an unremarkable Giovanna Mezzogiorno fails to make Fermina worthy of Florentino's devotion; John Leguizamo is grossly and embarrassingly miscast; fine actors such as Unax Ugalde, Liev Schrieber, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ana Claudia Talancón, Hector Elizondo and others are little more than cardboard caricatures of the original creations.

One wonders how Newell and Harwood could have strayed so far from the mark of the potential that this beautiful novel promised as a cinematic transition. But what resulted from their collaboration is an overlong, boring, and sloppy version of the original story. Sad to see fine actors wasted in this film. Grady Harp, March 08

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