|Starring:||Roger Lloyd Pack, Cyril Cusack, John Hurt, Richard Burton|
|Run time:||1 hour 48 minutes|
|Rental release:||20 Sep 2004|
Most helpful review
GoodBy a customer from Acton England , 28 Sep 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]I really enjoyed the film but i got the feeling you needed to have read the book first, i was constantly telling the wife what was going on and why it came about, because so much of the book was missed out and she had not read it.
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Superficial adaptation that seems to miss the pointBy Daniel Pollard from Manchester, England , 07 Mar 2009British adaptation of George Orwells dystopian nightmare of a novel, 1984. The film stars John Hurt (The Elephant Man, Alien, Midnight Express) as Winston Smith, a civil servant who has the unenviable job of falsifying newspapers and other political literature. Filmed in London between April and June 1984 when the book was set, it looks as though the director was hoping for some kind of relevance.
The adaptation is very faithful to the original novel and thats its main fault. Orwells original novel had some great concepts and ideas such as, Ingsoc, Big Brother, thought crime and room 101 and its amazing how these ideas have passed into everyday language. However, built around these brilliant ideas is a quite clunky and clumsy story involving Winston and his love affair with Julia. They have no depth at all, seem rather shallow and you simply dont care what happens to them. The ideas are not built into the story well enough and you get characters standing in rooms talking about ideas and concepts like an educational film or textbook. The repeated use of Winstons inner monologue is dull and it feels like listening to an audio book. Winstons job involves correcting political documentation, which in the novel is interesting, however, on the screen Winston sits at a table and cuts up newspapers, thats it, all very tedious.
Finally, Orwell created a dystopian nightmare surveillance state where everyone lived in constant fear of the secret police. The film doesnt convey this at all, visually or via the narrative. Fear is glazed over and characters just seem bored and feel their lives are dull and unexciting. Thus when Julia and Winston are together there isnt any tension, we dont know if they are doing anything wrong and when they do get caught and tortured you dont care for them.
A very superficial look at 1984 with no perspective of how great and important the book was, and still is. For the feel and underlying meanings of 1984 watch Terry Gilliams 1985 masterpiece, Brazil.
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A good solid adaptation!By a customer from LONDON , 29 Jan 2009Adapting a novel of this magnitude is a tall order, however, this version made in the year 1984 is a fine and solid effort. The impressive cast gives the characters the gravitas they deserve, with Richard Burton (in his final ever role) as O'Brien , John Hurt as Winston, and Suzanna Hamilton as Julia. The film is very atmospheric, and communicates well the sense of menace, and futility as Orwell had envisaged.
In minor criticism, this film probably functions better as a companion to the book, rather than a stand-alone piece of work. Whilst the film faithfully relates the overall story-line, it skips a good amount of plot details, which could confuse the story for those viewers who have not read the book.
Overall, very worth seeing for fans of the book!
Good stuff - why have I not seen it on tvBy a customer from Cardiff , 14 Jan 2009No film is as good as the book and this is the book of books.
I think it should have been longer to explain some of the plot to those who've not read it.
Also some of my favourite moments were missing.
But I good film with very powerful scenes and strong acting, I'm still paranoid - what if somebody's reading this here!
1984By a customer from Peterborough , 17 Oct 2008As with most films based on books, they are never as good as the original idea and they age quickly.
It's still a good movie but not one you can switch your brain off to. Scenes and concepts have been used in many other films and episodic tv since this film was released so it's interesting to see where it all came from. The actors performances are very intense and make the film more engaging.
DEPRESSINGBy a customer from Bristol , 02 Oct 2008not read the book, so as a stand alone film we classed this as....
BORING, DEPRESSING, SLOW, DULL, thoroughly un-entertaining
Just sheer hell and boring to sit through, so we turned it off half way through when neither of us were interested in how the film ended. Really depressing, dark film!
If you've read the book, then you might feel differently, but if you haven't - don't bother getting the film unless you want the rest of the year on Prozac!