“The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man’s body.The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life’s most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?”
— MILAN KUNDERA (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
Directed by PHILIP KAUFMAN
THIS ARTICLE IS PART OF THE LIST OF SHAME PROJECT: 100 MOVIES THAT WILL SHATTER MY CREDIBILITY
It appears that I forgot The Unbearable Lightness of Being was one of the films in this list, and made a full review of it, just a couple of days ago. I’ll take the opportunity to remind you all that these List of Shame posts are not reviews (notice I never rate them), but rather… thoughts on these films and my experience of viewing them.
About the film, I read that Kundera didn’t like it, and thought it had nothing similar to his novel. I think I read it on wikipedia, so chances are he didn’t say that. But even if he did, I can understand it, to some extent. Like I said in the review, this is a far too complex book to be easily and successfully adapted to film. Even if they kept most of the scenes (which they did), most philosophical theories and moral tales are left out, and from the ones that are mentioned, only one is fully explained. As for the characters, I saw in each of the actor’s performances a faithful portrait of what my interpretation of the novel was. Only Franz was a little forgotten, with his love for marching, but that’s not really important. And what a key word interpretation is, here – it is because of it that I can’t agree with the author. The film is a mere interpretation of the novel, and so are Kundera’s thoughts on it. Even his interpretation is not absolute, and may very well have changed with time. I don’t believe one can say that fully understands anything, to its very core, even if we’re the ones who made it. Even our perception of our own life is constantly changing. And perhaps because Kundera put a part of himself in that book, he feels a little possessive about it. Which is only natural, and therefore, comprehensible. But again, he may not have said it.