Adaptation is a humorous movie, showing the life of twin brothers as they strive to complement each other and survive. Even though they are twins, they have different personalities. One of the twins, Charlie, is reserved and shy, while the other, Donald, is outgoing and confident. Despite their difference in personalities, they choose a similar career path, that of writing movies. In this scene, they are faced with a tough challenge of adopting a book into a movie. The decision to adapt a novel and transform it into a film is because of the love they have for nature. The book is all about orchids and they use familiar characters to bring their point about orchids. The interesting part of the film is having another film being adopted in it. The director is trying to convey a message to the audience on the challenges that film directors’ face in their efforts to adopt a book into a film. Comparing to other fictional novels that are quite easy to adopt, orchids is a realistic novel, which hence requires many techniques. The humor comes in especially as the twin brothers with different personalities struggle to fit into each other.
The director of the film takes us through the life of Charlie, who is passionate about his work yet faced with numerous challenges that are making it difficult for him to concentrate. Charlie cannot run away from his psychological issues that are caused by his personality. He finds it difficult to relate with the opposite sex and his current relationship with his girlfriend is at stake. He is stressed to the point that his work is affected. Charlie’s scene is a clear example of how personal issues can affect a person passion for his career. It could be easy to conclude that since Charlie’s work does not really require the support of his girlfriend or other women, he could as well forget about them and concentrate (Kaufman & Donald 56). His shy personality could as well make him forget about having any girlfriend and simply concentrate. However, he recognizes that his condition is an abnormality especially when compared to his brother.
Charlie recognizes that his life needs to be balanced by having a successful career as well as good relationship with the opposite sex. In as much as he wants to maintain a fulfilling relationship with his girlfriend, his personality pulls him back. Charlie seems to worried of the fact that he will not be able to fully satisfy the needs of his girlfriend and therefore living a lonely life. Donald recognizes the weakness that his brother has and decides to move in with him as a way of complementing him. The screen that Charlie is working on is about the efforts of a conservative to preserve endangered species, orchids. As he writes his film and puts characters into it, he develops a liking for one of the characters. This is spurred by the romantic relationship that the character has with a fellow male character. He arranges to meet her but still realizes that his personality is making him too shy to face her.
The overall message the director, Nicholas Cage is relying is that talent and character are two different values that can hinder a person from achieving his personal goals. Looking at Charlie and the passion he has for films, one may not imagine that he has a personality that distinguishes his talent from his personal life. He is surrounded with opportunities yet lacks the ability to utilize them because of his personality. Charlie is in a position to attract s many women as he wants yet he lacks the capacity to retain them because he is shy (Orlean 84). On the contrary, his brother Donald is outgoing and has no issues with relating to the opposite sex. His personality is also a hindrance to his career as he is not able to concentrate. He spends most of his time chilling out with his girlfriends that he is pulled away from his career.
Cage is showing us characters with different personalities yet facing similar challenges. Charlie and Donald are both unable to concentrate effectively on their careers because of their relationship with the opposite sex. Charlie’s issue is on his inability to face and maintain a relationship with the opposite sex while Donald’s is on his excessive ability to relate with the opposite sex. It appears as if the twins admire each other’s personality of handling the opposite sex yet having similar issues of not being able to concentrate on their work. Charlie and Donald have opposing extremes of their personality and lack the ability to balance between their personalities and careers. The film shows how important it is for a person to have balance in life to enjoy the beauty that comes with it. Just like Charlie, it is not just enough to have passion and a successful career and not be able to relate appropriately with others. At the same time, just like Donald, it is meaningless to have the ability to relate and associate with others when he cannot balance on his career.
Most of the personality issues that adults face have their roots in their childhood development. Such personalities can be identified yet ignored, as they appear harmless to the children. Some children grow up laying emphasize on a certain aspect of their lives due to their experiences or attitudes towards life. For instance, Charlie may have grown up despising relationships and looking at them as a distraction and a waste of time. He may have also had a bad experience with relationships at a younger age and therefore despising them (Boozer 33). The attitude he developed was ignored by his mentors and therefore becoming a setback to his development. As a grown up man, he realizes that he needs both his intellectual and social capabilities to be able to survive in life.
Just when we thought having a reserved personality is worst especially when one is unable to sustain relationship, we are also encountered with another seemingly worse personality in Donald. Donald has a soft spot for relationship yet such strength is viewed as a weakness as he is unable to sustain his career. The two scenes imply that having an extreme of anything is dangerous to a person’s life. It is difficult to reverse an attitude that has developed into a habit. The best that can be done is to ensure children have a balanced lifestyle by ensuring that they appreciate all aspects of their life. Parents, teachers and other guardians have the responsibility of molding the character of their children by ensuring such balance. An attitude should never be ignored as a childhood character; measures should be taken to ensure that children appreciate events that come in their life as they are taught to overcome the negatives.
Boozer, Jack, ed. Authorship in film adaptation. University of Texas Press, 2009.
Kaufman, Charlie, Donald Kaufman, and Spike Jonze. Adaptation. Nick Hern Books, 2003.
Orlean, Susan. The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession. Random House LLC, 2011.