This week, we watched Lost in La Mancha, a movie detailing the struggles faced by a group of movie producers in an attempt to create a Don Quixote themed movie. Much like don Quixote himself, their journey was full of failure and misadventure.
Lost in La Mancha was so close, yet so far to becoming a full-fledged movie. But it just didn’t. As it stands right now, Lost in La Mancha exists in the same way that an old MySpace page featuring photos of My Chemical Romance and heavily filtered flip-phone selfies occupies a small, but obsolete space of the internet. Oh, middle school.
Problems faced in the movie included actor illness, inclement weather, and of course, the quintessential artistic bickering that comes as a side dish to any artistic process. But really, would a film be true to the tale of Don Quixote if it actually got published? If everything went as planned, then the delightful charm of failure would be lost. So in some ironic and strained way, the lack of a true creation of a movie mirrors Cervantes’ work itself. Cause hey, ya gotta keep things authentic.™
After all, “what man can pretend to know the riddle of a woman’s mind?” (Don Quixote). But in this case, the riddle is not really that of a woman’s mind, but rather, that of budgetary issues or lack of key cast members.
What really really bothered me throughout the duration of the film, aside from the absolutely grotesque, hairy “giants,” was the creeping knowledge of just how much money and time was poured into a film that never even came to fruition. I’m genuinely curious as to where it all went. Were they able to rekindle some of their investments? How does that work? Is it just gone, as though it were cash shoveled into a fire?
I suppose though, it would’ve been interesting to see the finished product of a DQ spinoff film. Of course, it wouldn’t have mirrored the book exactly, but key elements would still be prominent. I wonder how Johnny Depp would’ve done.