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All star adaptation of Jonathan Swift's satirical tale about a normal man who, after returning home following eight years of absence, relates fantastical tales about how he was thought to be giant in the Land of Lilliput, but was only six inches high in the Land of Brobdingnag. He also tells of his visit to the floating island of Laputa populated by scientists who are so obsessed with reason that they act with no common sense. Finally, he tells of his journey to the land where his disturbing likeness to the bestial Yahoos and his inferiority to the intelligent horses there makes him question the very worth of his humanity. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
We all know bits and pieces of Gulliver's travels. Tiny people, yeah, sure. Liliputians. Giants too, some of us may recall. Some might remember the word yahoo comes from here. That's were it stops for most people.
Swift's book is omnipresent in school libraries. That's were i first read it, and there's were a lot of people read it for the last time. It is treacherously lightly written, like many of the old adventure books. Children can read it. Still, it's dripping with satire, black and uncompromising. That's something I think most screen writers forget when they adapt this movie.
This movie remembers, however. Our hero, Ted Danson, gives a credible and serious performance as the world-adjusted man who's thrown to mysterious countries so like our own. Gulliver's travels criticizes everything. Theists, scientists, government, commonfolk, ethnicity, humanity itself. Few are spared, and most of the satire is just as fresh today.
While very faithful to the story, the movie also dares adding new angles, all which work very well. The screen writer deserves all credit for managing to balance so well between time and activity(it's not boring, that is).
Production values are way beyond a TV movie. With some marketing this movie would have done well at the box office. All of the fantastic worlds Gulliver visits are well-made, explained in detail and often very funny, much like Swift's book.
Actors are all pros, since this is a British production. Mary Steenburgen stands out, along with James Fox's Dr. Bates, the chillingly cruel doctor who, much like nurse Ratched, only wants the patient's best.
So, a modest proposal, if you ever get the chance to get this movie, do so. It's a real treat.
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