the audience applauded
So much average
Memorable, crazy movie
It's not great by any means, but it's a pretty good movie that didn't leave me filled with regret for investing time in it.
This brilliant adaptation of George Orwell's immoral classic of the same name nearly matches its source material in terms of quality (which is quite the achievement, considering the fact that "1984" is by far one of the greatest novels I have ever read). The chilling direction and pitch perfect performances help make this disturbing vision all the more of a truthful gut punch. The fact that such a hard hitting and seemingly over the top story remains entirely relevant in today's chaotic political climate is both a disgrace and a testament to Orwell's genius, and the cinematic capturing of Orwell's classic is one of practically unbeatable quality. While little to nothing is added to the plot, the visual accompaniment of the story enhances its impact. The cinematography is fittingly dull, soaked entirely of the joys o color. The performances are simply perfect, making this one of the few novel adaptations I have seen in which I felt that the actors absolutely nailed their performing of the original work's dialogue. At the center of this terrifying satire is the performance of Richard Burton who is both subtle and mind blowingly horrifying in his indescribably villainous role, while John Hurt provides a sometimes timid, sometimes paranoid, and other times absolutely petrified protagonist that attempts to escape from the norms of the totalitarian society he is forced to live in.While not necessarily a "horror" movie, there is no doubt that "1984" is among the most genuinely SCARY films that I have ever seen. Both the book and film have succeeded in making me shake like drug addicted pepper and salt shakers. The dystopia depicted here accurately displays the horror of an overly controlling and oppressive government system forcing its propaganda upon those below, and outwardly embracing anti-free speech and pro-war beliefs. I must restate how sadly relevant this work remains.
When a US Presidential spokesperson recently used the term alternative facts to explain away inconsistencies between the White House version of truth and objectively verified truth it triggered a global revival of interest in the George Orwell classic Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Single- handedly, the term alternative facts caused a run on the 68-year old novel and led to cinemas across America re-screening the 1984 film adaptation. Acknowledged as one of the most important literary works of the modern era, 1984 has been adapted to film, television, radio, stage, music, and other popular culture platforms and it continues to resonate as a contemporary dystopian warning about how power can be used as a weapon to crush truth.The film's plot line, setting and acting are starkly minimalist. Oceania is an imaginary futuristic totalitarian society that is in ruins from perpetual war. The people are under constant surveillance and there are screens everywhere broadcasting propaganda that keeps the masses devoted to leader Big Brother. The Party controls everything, including human thought and the facts of history. The masses must publicly demonstrate their loyalty to Big Brother, personal relationships are banned, and any ideas contrary to Party Policy are thought-crimes punishable by death.The film's protagonist, Winston Smith (John Hurt), is a nondescript Party apparatchik whose job it is to review historical documents and insert alternative facts to suit ever-changing Party policy. He scans newspapers and books for items officially deemed 'fake news' and expunges the record. Anyone who has contradicted Party policy has their entire identification "vaporized" as if they never existed. Amidst this dystopian oppression, Winston knows that what he is doing is wrong but is powerless to act until he meets a likeminded worker called Julia (Suzanna Hamilton) with whom he can discuss his innermost thoughts. Their illegal affair is uncovered by the Thought Police and senior Party figure O'Brien (Richard Burton) tortures Winston, ultimately re-programming his brain so he can believe contradictory facts and opinions.This is a film rich in metaphor and ironic distortions. The key institutions of Oceania exist solely to manufacture 'fake news' and to psychologically manipulate the will of the people. The Ministry of Truth produces endless falsehoods and historical revisions while the Ministry of Love specialises in torture, brainwashing and executions. The Ministry of Peace ensures that war is constantly waged against vaguely defined enemies to keep the masses from complaining about the food shortages that are disguised as surpluses by the Ministry of Plenty. The Party succeeds by controlling the only accepted language called Newspeak, the sole purpose of which is to minimise vocabulary so people cannot articulate their own memories because the words no longer exist. With memories gone and facts invented, Party control is complete.In terms of contemporary cinematic standards, 1984 stands up exceptionally well for a film made 33 years ago. The principal actors are brilliant in depicting an expressionless and alienated existence. The late John Hurt had the rare ability to express his thoughts entirely through terrified eyes that stared blankly from an impassive face and he used this to full effect in some truly frightening scenes. Excellent cinematography conveys the claustrophobia of a world diminished by totalitarianism. The use of a desaturated and depressive colour palette creates vivid contrasts with scenes where Winston imagines what the real world must have looked like.Some may wonder how the depicted extreme nihilism of Orwell's 1984 can have any relevance to politics today. While the dystopian world that Orwell predicted has not materialised in a physical sense, his warnings about the manipulation of truth and political corruption are entirely prescient. The fabricated worlds of alternative facts, fake news, and policy spin are corruptions of modern political life and their threat to civilised discourse can only be contained by the power of language to speak the truth.
Dear Michael Radford, you did a great job adapting Orwell's novel for the big screen.I loved the tracking shot of all those sinister looking people at the beginning of the movie. What a way to start the film. You had me hooked! The close ups of John Hurt's cold and dry face was used to great effect. It sort of underscored the lack of joy and humanity in him. The film was filled with such thin, wiry and robotic looking actors who gave the impression of slowly wasting away. The oppressive post-war imagery characterized by scenes of destruction and decaying grey buildings perfectly evoked the atmosphere in Orwell's novel. The sets were magnificent. I know it is an odd word to use for such a depressing film. But Winston's workplace and O'Brien's office deserve special mention. This must be Alan Cameron's best work. He later worked mostly in commercial big budget films. If anxiety was the natural state of 20th century man (from Mailer), John Hurt's jaded facial expressions and scraggy demeanor expressed all the anxiety of living in a totalitarian state. Winston Smith must be one of his best roles. Best Regards, Pimpin.(7/10)
The movie doesn't do justice to the book, is the usual refrain everybody hears. But I disagree, the success of a movie are the emotions you feel while watching it. I felt sad at the grayish feel, annoyed at the repeated announcement and pain at the torture of Winston. You don't get the usual Orwellian commentary over the issues, but I think watching a movie requires more mental effort than reading a book, only when it comes to the "thinking" movies like this one.That is quite a controversial statement, but my reason is simple. A book has the liberty to explain what the character is thinking, with 500-600 words. A movie instead has just 5 seconds to communicate that exact process. It takes more effort on the part of the audience to make sense of it. Of course you don't get the leisurely experience of enjoying a book, and have the author use literary techniques to build mental images over pages and pages. But somehow in good movies even despite the images you have a tougher task of getting inside the character's head. I like that.