I saw Choke last night and I had low expectations because as you know, movies based on books never do it for me. And, for me, whatever Chuck Palahnuik writes is descended from heaven, so how can anything ever live up? Plus, there’s something about his writing style that just can’t be translated to movie form. Except if you’re David Fincher and you can put in stylistic weirdness that sets the mood.
However, I feel the best work that could have been done was done. Firstly, the casting was perfect. Sam Rockwell continues to be my new creepy husband, and I thought Denny was great, although he was a poor man’s Seth Rogan.
The adaptation was good as well, and it literally followed the same story and sequence, with dialogue taken directly from the book. Like I mentioned, despite following the story pretty closely, there is just something that is lost from the author’s style. Like in the books, he doesn’t reveal too much about characters, and they are characters that you never think would exist in real life, so seeing them in the flesh almost ruins the affect.
I thought the scenes filmed in the colonial theme park were some of the best of the adaptation, and the film did capture the total absurdness of the whole ordeal.
But, here is my major gripe: The ENDING WAS CHANGED TO MAKE IT MORE HOLLYWOOD. Something about Chuck’s books (yes, we are on a first-name basis) is that when they end, the story is often not wrapped up and the turn of events often goes to bleak. However, since their was a “romantic storyline” in this movie, I guess someone told the director they needed to use that. Also, Page Marshall’s delusion was totally changed; in the book, she believes she is sent from the future with a mission to be impregnated so that she can bring the embryo back to her future so she can cure a plague. She later escapes and she and Victor form a weird, bizarre relationship. In the movie she’s just a stressed out medical student who lives a happily ever romance with Victor, or so we are told. Fucking Hollywood.
It would be interesting to see the movie through the eyes of someone who has never read of or heard of the novel.
Speaking of movie adaptations, Blindness opens next week. I’m excited because you know how much I love apocolypse scenarios. It will also be interesting because in the book, none of the characters are actually given names.