Review: Love In Time Of Cholera (2007) R 1h 40min
June 12th, 2008 by Maxim · 1 Comment · 4,491 Views
This is an Golden Globe-nominated (2007) romantic drama directed by Mike Newell based on the novel by Gabriel García Márquez and starring Javier Bardem, Giovanna Mezzogiorno and John Leguizamo.
The plot: 19th century Colombia. An old man falls from a tree and before he dies he professes eternal love to his wife Fermina Daza/Urbino (Giovanna Mezzogiorno). Later at the funeral another old men approaches Fermina – to take the opportunity to profess his eternal love as well. Fermina angrily rejects him. The plot jumps 50 years back, when a young man, Florentino Ariza, was a teenage telegraph boy (Unax Ugalde) and just fallen in love with Fermina. They had been writing love letters to each other, but her father (John Leguizamo), a mule trader, wanted her to mary up. Her father took Fermina away, and eventually she maried doctor Juvenal Urbino (Benjamin Bratt). Few years go by. Not a boy but a middle-aged man, Florentino (Javier Bardem – No Country For Old Men) is still dreaming of Fermina. He tries to find happiness, or at least divert his attention from his heartache, with other women. More years fly by, and both of them grow old. Will Florentino Ariza be able to live up to his promise of eternal love for Fermina?
The good: the movie is beautifully shot – fantastic photography. Javier Bardem and Fernanda Montenegro who played his mother were amazing. Benjamin Bratt was very confident in his role. Some critics have said that they hated Fermina as a character of a woman who’s cold and selfish. But I think she only veils her true feelings under cold and selfish facade. She had always loved Florentino, but unable to overcome the fear of her poerwful father she almost convinces herself that her love for Florentino was indead a “dream” and that the man himself is “just a shadow” from her youth. In conveying this, I think, Giovanna Mezzogiorno succeeded.
The bad: This is an English-language movie where actors speak with Latin accents – quite annoying. I would prefer them to speak Spanish with English subtitles. Leguizamo had New York accent. Often they forget about who they are and write in English and say “Miss” instead of “Seniorita”. Music was too melodramatic. The makeup was lousy – it’s hard to make young actors look old, so they put 10 layers of makeup on them. Long (DVD version is 2 hours 18 minutes). The transition between teenage Florentino (Unax Ugalde) and himself as a middle-aged man (Javier Bardem) was so abrupt, that it took a while a several people calling him by name before I realized that the new dude in the movie is still Florentino at a different age. All of a sudden 20 years went by without any change in scenery, clothes or location – it was a very uncomfortable transition.
The summary: A movie about a man crippled by life and love. The best acting and most drama is happening not when the characters are young, but it builds up as we see them age. A movie that want to be an epic love story, but doesn’t quite get there. The Notebook was much better movie in the same genre.
…Then suffer, my son. Suffer all you can. Because these things don’t last for long.
- Why are you so successful with women?
- Because they see in me someone with guilt, someone they can give their help to.
I didn’t read the book.
DVD bonus features:
- Feature Commentary by Director Mike Newell
- The Making Of Love in the Time of Cholera
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical trailer
- Sneak Peeks
The cast: Fermina Urbino - Giovanna Mezzogiorno | Florentino Ariza - Javier Bardem, Unax Ugalde | Lorenzo Daza – John Leguizamo
The crew: Director – Mike Newell | Screenplay – Ronald Harwood | Producers – Danny Greenspun, Robin Greenspun, Brantley M. Dunaway, Scott LaStaiti, Chris Law, Andrew Molasky, Michael Nozik and others | Original Music – Antonio Pinto | Cinematography – Affonso Beato | New Line Cinema
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