I tried to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera a few years ago. Tried being a keyword, I was unable to finish the book that moved slower than the boats the characters traveled on.
The premise and what have you were beautiful, however. The idea of a man, Florentino Ariza, suffering the rejection of his childhood sweetheart, Fermina Daza, loving her for over 50 years while numbing his pain with sexual endeavors with hundreds of women was intriguing and got me very interested in picking up the book and reading it. I expected nothing less than a book so engrossing, that despite its 348 pages, would be finished in less than three days.
Maybe it was my high expectation, or maybe it's because I like action rather than description in a story... whatever the reason was at the time, I found Love in the Time of Cholera to be excrutiatingly long and boring for its rather promising title and subject matter. I put the book away and forgot all about it and voiced my opinion of it to anyone who would listen. It was simply the most boring piece of work one could possibly imagine.
Now there is a movie depicting this lush story, and I watched it. What I found was an adaptation that surpasses the book in focusing on what draws a reader or audience to such a beautiful love story.
As with all movies, much of the useless details are omitted, and we are immersed in the important details one must wait an excruciatingly long time to experience in the book. The actors are all excellent. I felt casting John Leguizamo as Lorenzo, Fermina's father was interesting, seeing as how he didn't look much older than his daughter. Nonetheless, Leguizamo's performance was excellent as was Hector Elizondo's. Elizondo was virtually unrecognizable, thanks to the amazing makeup jobs for this movie that spans over half a century with the same characters going through life and its hardships. Some of the best aging makeup, I believe, was showcased in this gem of a movie that required aging of the actors' bodies for a scene of nudity.
Benjamin Bratt's role as Dr. Juvenal Urbino, Fermina's husband, was perhaps my favorite character. Bratt was able to present a cocky and at times self-absorbed man in a way that made the character of Dr. Urbino, the main obstacle in Florentino's way to be with Fermina, a likable character one doesn't route for, but rather enjoys watching and observing in his mannerisms and handsome air.
Another aspect of the movie that is worth mentioning is the soundtrack. Shakira sings a few haunting songs that are as lush as the visuals and as sultry as the storyline.
Perhaps I should try reading the book again. Perhaps my reading preference is more lenient now that I'm a few years older, and my mind a bit more mature than when I tried to read this book a few years back... who knows? I will pick it up and give it another try.