As far as novelists go, Gabriel Garcia Marquez isn't quite known for his subtlety, but that has less to do with a lack of nuance than it does with an enormity of scope. This is, after all, the man who wrote an allegorical re-telling of the entire history of Latin America—A Hundred Years of Solitude—that drew more comparisons to the book of Genesis than anything else. When dealing with such vast, generation-spanning story arcs and sweeping themes, of course, what might otherwise be termed "subtle" is instead called "complex"—but regardless of what one calls it, Marquez is a master, an author who can write books about entire nations and make us care about intimate relationships of individual characters.
And of course, all of that—the broad scope, the nuance in characterization—is unfilmable; trying to bring the full breadth of a Marquez novel is like trying to adapt the entirety of the Lord of the Rings or the Chronicles of Narnia, without sacrificing a single character or event or geographical detail, no matter how minor. It simply cannot be done. That said, Marquez has such creative generosity, and his themes are so universal, that his work could—theoretically—be abbreviated, its spirit distilled, and a winning interpretation of Marquez could be spectacular, where a full-blown adaptation just isn't feasible.
I say "theoretically," of course, because it has yet to be done. A Hundred Years of Solitude joins Catcher in the Rye and Infinite Jest on the short list of 20th century novels that will likely never be adapted to the big screen, and Mike Newell's take on Love in the Time of Cholera—one of Marquez' most popular and acclaimed novels—is such a spectacular misfire on so ...1
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Love in the Time of Cholera
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