Love In The Time Of Cholera

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/03/2008

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 138 mins

The performances are decent enough but ultimately this is a disappointing adaptation that's let down by a plodding script, an uneven tone and some dodgy make-up.

What's it all about?
Adapted from the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera is set in 19th-century Colombia and stars Javier Bardem as Florentino Ariza, who falls in love at first sight when he meets Fermina Daza (Giovanna Mezzogiorno). However, Fermina's strict father (John Leguizamo) forbids her to see Florentino and eventually finds her a wealthy husband in the form of the charming doctor Urbino (Benjamin Bratt).

As the years pass, Urbino and Fermina raise a family together while Florentino continues to pine for her, bedding hundreds of women (he helpfully keeps count along the way) but never finding true love. Over fifty years later, he hears of Urbino's death and finally gets the chance he's been waiting for.

The Good
To be fair, Bardem and Mezzogiorno both deliver decent performances, ensuring that the film remains watchable even during its slower moments, though fans of the book are likely to feel short-changed.

The Bad
The film is framed so that the death of Urbino occurs at the beginning, with most of the film unfolding in flashback. Unfortunately, the old-age make-up for the opening scenes is so bad that it immediately takes you out of the film – Bardem looks like he's hurriedly slapped on a plastic-looking wig, while Mezzogiorno doesn't actually seem to have aged at all, even though she's meant to be over 75.

After its dodgy start, the film fails to find the right tone, so you never feel the sense of painful longing that the story requires. In addition, the plodding script fails to convey exactly why Florentino waits so long instead of settling down with someone else.

Worth seeing?
In short, Love in the Time of Cholera is a disappointing adaptation that never manages to capture the emotion of the source material. Read the book instead.

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Love In The Time Of Cholera
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Content updated: 29/02/2020 04:26

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