Movie Adaptation

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Katie Nisbet Film Studies Professor Espiritu 15 November 2014 Understanding Adaptation Through the Film Adaptation The film Adaptation, illustrates screen writer Charlie Kaufman’s struggle to adapt the novel The Orchid Thief into a film. It is a unique take on the adaptation process, bringing the viewer into Kaufman’s mind as he tries to write the screenplay for the book. The film mainly follows the storylines of Charlie Kaufman (the screenwriter), Susan Orlean, the author of The Orchid Thief, and John Laroche, the man behind Orlean’s novel. The film is simultaneously nonfiction and fiction, original screenplay and adaptation. Adaptation is a clear example of a film that foregrounds the actual process of adaptation while drawing attention…show more content…
He goes from one “passion” to another. In the film itself he goes from being an orchid poacher, to the author of a porn website. But what his obsession with adaptation references is the films own mutation. This “mutation “ that Laroche is obsessed with also explains the mutations that adaptations take on. The film is its own mutation of a literary text. Kaufman presents a whole new interpretation, a new mutation of the novel. This shows adaptations ability to mutate into other forms in “translations” totally different from the original. For example, Anna Karenina, a Russian novel written by Leo Tolstoy has been created into a number of different adaptations. It has “mutated” from a novel, to other forms, films, television series, plays, music, and ballets. In Joe Wright’s 2012 adaptation of the novel he combined elements of film and theatre to create a unique depiction of the novel. Adaptations easily mutate, and can even be translated from one form of adaptation to another. Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest” is also a central theme to the story. Donald Kaufman, Charlie’s twin, is also an easily adaptable character. After he decides to become a screenwriter he soon incorporates Hollywood clichés into his first work “The 3”. His work, which is the first thing he has ever written, is received very well my Charlie’s agent. This shows that Donald adapts easily to the Hollywood…show more content…
Kaufman follows Orleans to Florida, where it is revealed that she has been having an affair with Laroche, and that both of them are growing drugs in his orchid nursery. Kaufman is caught spying which leads him and his twin brother trying to evade Laroche and Orleans, as they are hunted at night in a swamp. Later Charlie’s twin is killed as they are trying to escape, and an alligator kills Laroche as he is about to kill Charlie. When Charlie returns to LA he finally confesses his love for Amelia, the woman he has pining for the whole movie. Not surprisingly she also admits to being in love with him. This is a very “Hollywood” ending. It can be reasoned that Kaufman uses this ending, because how else would the movie end? It is a movie about life, so therefore it is hard to end the film when the storyline was still ongoing. Therefore Kaufman uses these clichés to show how they are easily employed in order to give viewers the excitement they want, and to give writers the ending they

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