Silent J’s review:
"Sometimes this kind of story turns out to be something more. Some glimpse of life that expands like those Japanese paper balls you drop in water and they bloom in the flowers and the flower is so marvelous you can't believe there was a time that all you saw in front of you was a paper ball and a glass of water."
That pretty much sums up what I thought of this film the first time I saw it years ago. There was a time I saw a movie (or whatever the hell it is) and now I see a masterpiece.
On my first watch, I didn't have much of an opinion of it other than it was... "strange". I honestly didn't get it. I think it was one of the few films that left me both speechless and dumbfounded. It confused the hell out of me. I didn't know what it was about going and I knew even less going out. When it was over, I remember thinking to myself
"So this was about a guy played by Nicholas Cage playing Charlie Kaufman, an overweight scriptwriter even though Kaufman isn't overweight in real life or has a brother in real life yet his brother is credited as a writer for this film (?) Anyway, he has writer's block trying to adapt Meryl Streep's book and the film show's bits from that book even though it's not an adaptation even though it's called Adaptation but it's a biopic on Kaufman during Being John Malkovich but none of it is true but some of it is true but it's an adaptation but it's not but VYUJVJDVHJGBYUVKJVSV DOES NOT COMPUTE!"
Until now I never thought of it as the true masterpiece it's always been pegged as because I didn't know what the hell this was. Now, I think I finally get it.
After my second watch, I realize that this isn't something to get. It can be broken down and interpreted, but you can never truly "get it" like you never can truly "get" the real Charlie Kaufman. What makes this so brilliant is that it's everything and nothing at the same time. It manages to fall into cliches without falling into cliches. It breaks every rule in the screenwriting book while also taking a few pages out and either following it or twisting it apart. It's complete bullshit while also being true to life on all accounts. It's meta while not being true. Does that make any sense?
What I'm trying to say is that Adaptation isn't something that can be defined within a genre or really anything. It's not supposed to make sense. Life doesn't make sense. It is a story of life, death, love, loss, truth, lies, comedies, tragedies, making sense out of confusion, being confused about what should make sense, being lost, being found....To try and put it in the best way possible, it is what it is and that is a genius masterpiece.