Charlie Kaufman (voice-over):The only thing I'm actually qualified to write about is myself and my own self - Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation)
In his essay sixty three words, Milan Kundera speaks about the process of "dizzying reduction that reduces lives to our social functions". He argues that the novel's raison d'etre is to exist resisting this reduction and champion the spirit of complexity saying things aren't simple.
But with the quote above I have attempted to do exactly that kind of reduction and with limited success. Times demand you reduce and not do justice to your reading experience. Quite possible when you it is impressive stuff but not quite possible when it is flooring. You throw the pencil away because every line is underlinable and the experience of reading is just that. No occasion to be quote happy or express well enough why it is magical. That's how I feel about Adaptation.
Revisited and floored again. If you want to write well, you should perhaps not intensely like what you write about. I shouldn't care about making this look interesting. But how can I not. To write about a flower, to dramatize a flower...I have to show the flower's arc.
After the success of his offbeat debut, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is commissioned by a studio to adapt Susan Orlean's novel: 'The Orchid Thief'. Susan had based her book on an interesting personality: John Laroche and her own joint quest with him for a rare orchid flower. Laroche moves through interests and relationships in his life with a phenomenal capacity for ‘adaptation’.
Charlie aims to be faithful to the spirit of Susan’s book without yielding to Hollywood clichés like "sex, drugs, guns and car chases" or “characters undergoing profound realizations”. The task proves to be difficult as he worries he will not do justice to the book. Charlie's twin brother Donald -who is also a screenwriting aspirant- swears by apopular screenwriting course, whose trite prescriptions meet with Charlie’s scorn.Donald’s clichéd debut script is on its way to success, while Charlie struggles to finishhis script. Swallowing his pride, Charlie seeks the advice of Donald's teacher andeventually of Donald himself. The twins track Susan and Laroche and discover a trail ofdrugs and sex leading to a dramatic end involving alligators, car chases and gunshots.
Charlie finally dares to be clichéd in life as well as in his craft.