Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some films adapted from books feel so right - that is, until you watch it and you realise how the director got it all wrong; It was totally different from how you imagined it when you read the book.

I'm still hopeful that one day I will be able to finish reading all of Colette's books (and she wrote so much, some of which have gone out of print in their English translations). I also happen to be a big fan of Michelle Pfeiffer. Which was why my initial reaction to the news of Cheri - the film adapted from Colette's Cheri - was delight. Then I saw the trailer, and I was a little hesitant.

Why? Because it felt too light-hearted - almost as though it was a romantic comedy. For Colette, her body was her temple - but she was uncannily self-aware of the nuances and contradictions of human emotions. Colette's books are lush masterpieces where you walk through the labyrinth of the human heart. They are complicated, layered narratives. This trailer, in spite of the sheer beauty and perfect bone-structure of Michelle Pfeiffer herself - makes me suspicious of the worthiness of the adaptation.

Still, I want to see Michelle Pfeiffer - who is now 50 years old - as a cougar of the Belle Epoque.


Anonymous said...

I love Colette!!
I still have precious copies (just went to dig through shelves) carried over from my distant youth of The Rainy Moon, Looking Backwards, Chance Acquaintances and the Vagabond--and of course Gigi & The Cat, Claudine at School & My Mother's House--

I want to read more Colette too--at one point tried to read Le Fanal Bleu & Mes Apprentissages in French more out of affectation than anything else...

darkorpheus said...

Ovidia -You can read in French? Really? I am envious. I first read the Claudine novels - of course - and fell in love.

Have you read Cheri though? I haven't - but will definitely try to finish it before I watch the movie. It's Michelle Pfeiffer. I have to watch this movie.

Anonymous said...

I can't (read French now, I mean)--which is really really tragic.

Had to take 'extra' lessons back in school so (naturally) resented it (staying back in the afternoons) but now I wish I'd been more scholarly & dutiful...

Yes, have read Cheri--I remember being moralistic & disapproving (cos young & methodist & really disappointed cos Cheri turned out to be a boy...) at first read but I loved the details though terrifying (don't you almost see Lea's neck and arms withering away?)

& I want to watch this movie too!!

Isn't there also a sequel (The La Fin de Cheri? May have got it wrong) is that in the movie too?

brideofthebookgod said...

Saw the film a couple of weeks ago - it covers both books as far as I can tell - I enjoyed it but it's not perfect. If you're interested in what I thought you can find a review here ( looks wonderful in any event.