After The Atomic War the world is divided into three states. London is a city in Oceania, ruled by a party that has total control over all its citizens. Winston Smith is one of the bureaucrats, rewriting history in one of the departments. One day he commits the crime of falling in love with Julia. They try to escape Big Brother's listening and viewing devices, but, of course, nobody can really escape. Written by
Sonia Orwell, George's widow, signed the contract, to allow this movie to be made, on December 1, 1980, while in the hospital. Nine days later, Mrs. Orwell passed away. She had originally wanted to have full artistic control over the production, but in the end, relinquished this when she agreed to the terms and conditions of the contract, and signed it. See more »
After the rack torture scene, O'Brien removes Winston's front tooth. Later, in the rat mask torture scene, his tooth is back again. (In the book, Winston is given dentures after O'Brien pulled the tooth, but this was not explained in the movie.) See more »
This is our land. A land of peace and of plenty. A land of harmony and hope. This is our land. Oceania. These are our people. The workers, the strivers, the builders. These are our people. The builders of our world, struggling, fighting, bleeding, dying. On the streets of our cities and on the far-flung battlefields. Fighting against the mutilation of our hopes and dreams. Who are they?
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"This film was photographed in and around London during the period April-June 1984, the exact time and setting imagined by the author." See more »
George Orwell's literary masterpiece "1984" is presented with amazing accuracy and detail in this version filmed during the very months of the author's vision. The casting, set design, and atmosphere are all right on the mark for how I envisioned them during reading the book. This film is dark and uncompromising, and follows many of the dialogs verbatim from the book.
The flaw in the film, for me, is that I felt like I only enjoyed and understood this movie BECAUSE I had read the book already. There is a theory I once heard and agree with: the closer an adaptation is to the source, the more necessary it is to read the source. A good adaptation is faithful to the essentials of a story but makes necessary changes so that it not only becomes cinematic, yet also becomes something that a viewer unfamiliar with the source material can understand. I think if I were ignorant of the story, there are too many things that would confuse me in this film which the book seems to go out of its way to explain.
For example: Who/Where exactly is Oceania? How did the countries go from their current political state to the envisioned one? Why do the people gather in mass and scream passionate hateful exclamations at the screen? What exactly does Winston actually do? Who are the proles? I praise movies that can effectively tell a story without means of voice-over, a much overused device in films. In this case though, I think a little may have helped, not necessarily wall-to-wall, but sparingly used. The movie is effective by being more ambiguous than the book, but I tend to think maybe it is too ambiguous.
In summary, read the book if you haven't (either before or after seeing the film) to get a complete overview of the author's vision. With that as a foundation, this really is a good cinematic portrayal, and of a story that is still relevant and not impossible to come to pass. Obviously 1984 is long since gone bye-bye, but 2084 or 2054? Oppression can always come as long as people desire self-centered power and the masses don't pay close attention.
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