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Brave New World (1998)

TV Movie  -   -  Sci-Fi  -  19 April 1998 (USA)
5.2
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In a futuristic totalitarian society, people have no control of their lives and/or destiny.

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(book), (teleplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Brave New World (TV Movie 1998)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Cooper
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Lenina Crowne
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Linda
Patrick J. Dancy ...
Henry Foster
Steven Flynn ...
James
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Fanny (as Wendy Benson)
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Beta Clerk
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Ingram
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...
Delta Coffee Server
...
Gabriel
Nicholas Belgrave ...
Alpha Student Boy #1 (as Nick Belgrave)
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Alpha Student Girl #1
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Storyline

In a futuristic totalitarian society, people have no control of their lives and/or destiny.

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Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

19 April 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Geklonte Zukunft  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Brave new adaptation
4 July 2004 | by (Yorkshire, England) – See all my reviews

Okay, I realize that I'm probably going to get labeled as either a moron or a heretic for this, but I'm not going to let that put me off!

Y'see, the fact is I LOVED this version of Huxley's classic!!!

The main reason for contempt aimed at this film appears to concern the matter of deviation from the original text.

Firstly, it is almost always necessary when adapting literary material, and this is the case here. Secondly, the alterations are not that severe. The only real changes pertain to character (oh, and the admittedly fluffy pink ending which appears to have been pinned on as an afterthought, I'll give you that one): Marx and Lenina are fleshed out, in that they develop the ability to learn and evolve, which in the book is impossible. Helmholtz is removed as his purpose in the book is fulfilled here by Marx in the aforementioned capacity. John is rendered here more mentally stable and exhibits none of the religious fervor for guilt and self flagellation.

Right, so why were these changes necessary?

In the study version of the text, the notes state "Thus however tempting it may be to base a reading of brave new world on a sympathetic identification with the characters, it would be a distortion of the novel to do so." It also postulates that the "characters are static, incapable of learning, changing and developing in the way real people do".

Now, these things may well be fine in a book, but in a film the medium requires precisely the kind of 'sympathetic identification' missing from the text if it is to be enjoyed by any kind of audience outside of, perhaps, the art-house crowd. Moreover, characters in films NEED to evolve in a way that is not perhaps required in a literary equivalent. It is simply a matter of adapting format to work successfully.

As for John, and again with reference to the study text, Huxley himself states "...the most serious defect in the story, which is this, the savage is offered only two alternatives, an insane life in Utopia...(or that) his native Penetente-ism reasserts its authority and he ends in maniacal self torture and suicide." He goes on to assert "if I were to rewrite the book, I would offer the savage a third alternative. Between the utopian and the primitive horns of his dilemma would lie the possibility of sanity"

The alterations to John's character not only serve the aforementioned necessities when converting the story to celluloid, but address Huxley's own misgivings about the direction the story arc took.

Basically, the changes are justified.

As to the socio economic and eugenic details in Huxleys work - the things that made it so important, well 95% of them are in there. Some are slightly updated, but essentially they are identical. The only missing ingredients that I spotted were the Bokanovskyfication of human embryo's, and the erotic play amongst children.

The former perhaps should have been utilized, but the latter, well, they'd have NEVER gotten away with that.

All in all, and given the obvious budgetary restraints clearly present, I believe this to be a faithfully spirited, valid interpretation of a book that was always going to be incredibly difficult to film.


22 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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