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Charlie Kaufman writes the way he lives... With Great Difficulty. His Twin Brother Donald Lives the way he writes... with foolish abandon. Susan writes about life... But can't live it. John's life is a book... Waiting to be adapted. One story... Four Lives... A million ways it can end.
The above is precisely what the Spike Jonze film Adaption is about. Charlie Kaufman is a truly mad guy. If one would ask me what kind of a film adaption is this, I would simply stand confused. Was it a documentary? Was it a drama? I don't know but it was too good a film. More than the quality of the film as a whole I was impressed with the kind of writing that Charlie Kaufman came up with and the smart way with which Spike Jonze executed it.
The writing is the highlight of the film. It is about the struggle of Kaufman in trying to adapt the novel The Orchid Thief rather than being an adaption of the novel. The characters would all seem real and Spike would make every viewer believe. Ofcourse, it is possible to guess that there is fiction here and there in the film but guess what Charlie came up with a fictitious twin brother, Donald, who is even credited as the co-writer of the film. The film discusses one of my favorite issues, writer's block. Since the film is from the perspective of a writer there is so much of ideas and views discussed in the film. This was also something that interested me. When I watched Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich, I was indeed impressed but I never thought that Kaufman could come up with a movie that was even more weird and real.
The performances add color and life to the writing. Nicholas Cage is wonderful in his dual role. Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper are also wonderful and share splendid chemistry. Brian Cox appears as Robert McKee at one point in the film and that is something I never thought I would see though the film refers to McKee at different points in the beginning of the film. There are good looking ladies like Tilda Swinton, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Judy Greer in smaller roles as well which makes the casting quite an interesting one.
Adaption is a mad film about the struggle in adapting a book for a movie and there is some fun and some fantasy here, pure Charlie Kaufman style!


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