In a future society based on pleasure without moral worries, love is prohibited but casual sex, now called 'engaging', is strongly encouraged. Everyone is kept happy with a legal drug, soma... See full summary »
In a future society based on pleasure without moral worries, love is prohibited but casual sex, now called 'engaging', is strongly encouraged. Everyone is kept happy with a legal drug, soma. People are hatched and cloned on conveyor belts to meet the requirements of five different social classes, from ruling Alphas to robot-like Epsilons. Bernard Marx is a different Alpha male with an inclination to thinking. He and a girl called Lenina Disney go visit a reservation of 'savages' where they meet a handsome young man John and bring him back to 'civilization'. John turns out to be the son of the director of the cloning authority, which causes a scandal and makes John a celebrity freak. John falls in love with Lenina but his desire is ruined by his antiquated sexual morale derived from reading Shakespeare. John hates the over-social but anti-emotional civilization, asks to be sent to live in isolation, and gets a job as a lighthouse guard. But even there he can't forget Lenina or escape ... Written by
I finally got to watch this movie. All 3hours of it. Now, I gave it a little leeway seeing how its more than 20 years old but I was still a little set back by this adaptation. I remember when it debuted on NBC as a movie of the week. I was in the middle of traveling with my family and when we finally reached our destination, there were only 30 minutes of the film left on television for me to watch. VCRs were not common household appliances then so that was not an option for me or any of my friends at the time either. It was interesting to see what I missed. It looked like they raided the set departments of Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica (a distinct possibility as this was a Universal property) in their quest to make the future of BNW. Though they tried to make it sterile it came off as a bit garish and I guess they thought the future meant everything had flashing LEDs. Some things were inventive though. The contraceptive belts used rotary dialers off of old telephones, one set was actually a mock up 747 interior that was supposed to be a luxury hotel suite (very interesting). It seems great care went into trying to be as accurate to the novel of the same name, but there was still a clunkiness in the acting. Perhaps it was the novel's dialog brought to life. Unlike "1984" where the environs created a bleak landscape that added to the culture of the people presented, BNW creates almost cartoon like personalities living in a utopia world that come off as silly and often naive though they portray their duties as part of this utopia very seriously and steadfastly. The one highlight of finally getting to see this movie for me was seeing a young Bud Cort. His portrayal of a shy and tortured Alpha Plus Bernard Marx was quirky and fascinating to watch. I never knew he had this type of range as I often missed seeing some of his better performances. Overall it was worth watching once but after that you may want to watch 1984 or Brazil in order to sweep away the anodyne utopian visions of this version of BNW.
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