Like many in the class, I thought Adaptation was a weird movie. The very first scene revealed for me that I was in for quite an experience when I was treated to a sight of the Being John Malkovich set in grainy footage expecting a weird documentary style film then being treated to something entirely new. I think the strangeness the movie made me feel at the beginning was intentional, making me, the viewer, question what I was about to see.
One thing I thought was interesting was the concept of the Orchid thief, as a lover of orchids, I was charmed by this part of the film. I thought both characters were very interesting. One thing I loved that the movie tackled was the romance between Orlean and Laroche. At the beginning of the film, Cage as Kaufman, says he’s not going to make it a romance, only to find out it actually is a romance. The fact that Kaufman, wrote a romance that didn’t even happen in real life was odd, but satisfying. Streep and Cooper played off the chemistry of Orlean and Laroche so well that I was actually happy seeing the romance (despite the weirdness of it).
I also thought the Donald twist at the end was hilarious. There was a point in the film where you could tell “Donald” was taking over as a writer and while it was completely farfetched, it was so hilarious. The death scene of Donnie was beautifully dramatic. I would also like to point out that I am so upset that the flowers at the end of the film aren’t orchids. Why? Why after a movie about people and orchids, and the relationships between them, didn’t we end it on orchids?
I think after looking at some of Kaufman’s other films, it’s not surprising that Adaptation is such an odd film to watch. Kaufman is clearly incredibly creative, and his movie has a lot of authenticity. It’s a glimpse into the real mind of someone when they release everything to the viewer. Two of the most authentic parts of the movie for me were Kaufman’s stream of consciousness and the car accident scene.
Kaufman’s stream of consciousness felt like my own at times, wondering what people thought of him, procrastinating while writing. It was like someone finally got it right in a film and it was so satisfying to watch (even though Kaufman was so awkward in the film).
The car accident was something that I will admit is personal to me, and the authenticity of it made me extremely emotional. I can handle car accidents in most films, but this one was so well done, it brought me back to a moment that happened 5 years ago. I have to take myself outside the experience to appreciate the authenticity of that moment.
Overall, the film was weird, and traumatic for me. I’m not going to watch it again. I will, however, look at the Orchid Thief, because that was my favorite part of the film. I will also remember certain parts of this insane, odd film, for a long long time.
And because the movie didn’t do it, I’m sorry, but I have to end this post with an orchid: