Friday, November 16, 2007

El Amor en Los Tiempos del Cólera, or How Shakira goes back to her roots

El Amor en los tiempos del cólera is one of those books that I look back with fondness - even though I read it in high school, vaguely remember the plot details or characters' names, I remember loving reading it. But then, I have had that same experience while reading any one of Gabriel García Márquez's works. So when I heard they were making a movie about it, I was hesitant despite the fact that the last Gabo book-turned movie I had seen (Crónica de una muerte anunciada) was actually pretty good. The problem with 'Amor' was that it'd be an English production directed by Mike Newell. And yet knowing that Gabo would never let one of his books be turned into movies without his consent (he's always said that if his magnus opus 'Cien Años de Soledad' were to be turned into a movie he'd have requested Kurosawa to direct it) I was optimistic about what Newell and his cast (which includes Javier Bardem, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Benjamin Bratt and Liev Schrieber as well as an array of Colombian actors) would do. They gave me hopes when they shot it entirely in Colombia - Cartagena to be exact.
Then came the publicity: with the overly sentimentalized tagline (How long would you wait for love?) and a trailer that seemed targeted at Oprah's audience/reader's club I was afraid audiences not familiar with Marquez's book would be turned off by what is arguably a very demographically inflected publicity.
And yet... since it was opened to the critical scrutiny of the industry it has not fared well: Currently, Rotten Tomatoes has it at an appalling 20% and I have to wonder whether I'm still up for watching it or whether I should spare myself...
Maybe I can go watch it when it opens this weekend and enjoy the visuals, the score and the three Shakira-penned songs (which I have already bought on iTunes and love in that nostalgic, closeted-latin way) and try and block out the travesty of it all. We'll see.

1 comment:

POP COLONY said...

I'm arguing whether to see it or not because of the afore mentioned RT rating. But at the end of the day I've got to support my S.A. peeps.

BTW: I love that Emilio Estefan-era pic of Shakira with Marquez!!! Ah the good ol' days