Saturday, September 15, 2007

Veronika Decides to Die - The Movie

I chanced upon this news bit that the book entitled "Veronika Decides to Die" by famed author Paulo Coelho will have its film version. I loved the book when I read it and I would never hesitate to read it again should I be given a chance.

Here is the synopsis:

In his brilliant novel about the aftermath of a young woman's suicide attempt, Paulo Coelho explores three perennial themes: conformity, madness, and death. Twenty-four-year-old Veronika lives in Slovenia, one of the republics created by the dissolution of Yugoslavia. She works as a librarian by day, and by night carries on like many single women ‹ dating men, occasionally sleeping with them, and returning to a single room she rents at a convent. It is a life, but not a very compelling one. So one day, Veronika decides to end it. Her failed attempt, and her inexplicable reasons for wanting to die, land her in a mental hospital, Vilette. Veronika's disappointment at having survived sucide is palpable. She imagines the rest of her life filled with disillusionment and monotomy, and vows not to leave Vilette alive. Much to her surprise, however, she learns that a fate she desires awaits her anyway: She is destined to die within a week's time, of a heart damage caused by her suicide attempt. Gradually, this knowledge changes Veronika's perception of death and life. In the meantime, Vilette's head psychiatrist attempts a fascinating but provocative experiment. Can you "shock" someone into wanting to live by convincing her that death is imminent? Like a doctor applying defibrillator paddles to a heart attack victim, Dr. Igor's "prognosis" jump-starts Veronika's new appreciation of the world around her. From within Vilette's controlled environment, she finally allows herself to express the emotions she has never allowed herself to feel: hate and love, anger and joy, disgust and pleasure. Veronika also finds herself being drawn into the lives of other patients who lead constrained but oddly satisfying lives. Eduard, Zedka, and Mari have been sent to Vilette because there doesn't seem to be any other place for them. Their families don't understand them, and they can't adjust to the social structure that doesn't tolerate their individuality. Each of these patients reflects on Veronika's situation in his or her own flash of epiphany, exposing new desire and fresh vision for life that lies outside the asylum's walls. Vilette is an asylum in the purest sense of the word: a place of protection, where one is shielded from danger. In this case the danger is society. Those who refuse to accept society's rules have two choices: succumb to the majority's perception that they are mad, or struggle against that majority and try to find their own way in the world. The protective walls of Vilette are liberating to its patients, allowing them to explore their "madness" without criticism or harm. What they discover is both natural and startling. A novel that starts out as contemplation on the expression of conformity and madness, turns into a dazzling exploration of the unconscious choices we make each day between living and dying, despair and liberation.


What struck me the most about the book is its central theme: You'll only get to live your life fully when you know you don't have much left.

Interesting enough? Go head to the nearest bookstore and buy the book or painstakingly wait for the movie's release because trust me, it will be worth it.

Shooting is said to start late August this year. It will star the soon-to-be-A-list star Kate Bosworth with Emily Young as tentative director!


Anonymous said...

I love it! yun lang. I've always admired how Paulo Coelho writes. Its very philosophical, and everyone can really say "that's me!".

If there is indeed an upcoming movie... count me in... I've missed a lot on the ones I've wanted to watch, but this one I'll have to really place in my planner.

Thanks for the update rey! :o

Anonymous said...

I'm sceptical. So much of that book would be hard to show on film, such as the thoughts and transcendental experiences of various characters. Also, the structure which is so essential to the story will be hard to mimic. Good luck to them though, hopefully they will get more people onto Coelho.