Forgot your password?
I just recently read George Orwell’s “1984” for the first time. It is, to say the least, one of the most brilliant books I have ever read in my life. While I was still under its influence, I decided to check out the film adaptation. The conclusion: I like it, and I don’t like it at the same time.
Read the book first. Simply because of the fact that you’ll read a book for several days or weeks, while you’ll watch a film only for an hour or two. So why spoil days or weeks of fun in two hours by watching the film before reading the book? I don’t see a point in it, so – the book, then the film. Are we clear? OK.
I’ll keep this review spoiler free, because “1984” is really a masterpiece and I don’t want to accidentally spoil it for someone.
The film will help you visualize the book. You’ve read it, now you can see it. And they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. As far as the mood and the atmosphere of the book, the film captures it perfectly. It was filmed with a special technique called bleach bypass that, of course, shows you the bleakness of the dystopian world the story takes place. When I was reading the book, I was having a problem with picturing Winston and Julia particularly. Now I can put a face to the name, as they say. I also had problems visualizing some of the surroundings, like Winston’s apartment. And for that, the film does a great job and is very helpful. Also, the scenes were filmed on the exact same days as they took place in the book, which really shows the dedication of the film crew that worked on the project.
Now, can it be a substitute for the book? Absolutely not! The film, compared to it, would be best called “1984 Lite”. It’s because of the complexity of Orwell’s work. There are so many concepts, terms and ideas – like thoughtcrime, sexcrime, doublethink, Newspeak, Ingsoc, and not to mention the chapters of Goldstein’s "Book" – that just can’t be explained properly on the film medium. Because of that, many of the important points and parts in the book are just vaguely mentioned or hinted here, and the viewer must really be careful to get them, and even if he does get them, it will only be a small percentage of “what the author wanted to say”.
Nevertheless, even standalone “1984” is a powerful film that will make you question the world we live in today, but once again, to fully understand and experience the genius of Orwell’s work – read the book first, the watch the film, both of which you’ll never forget.
- review by Ventilation Shaft
Copyright © 2008-2013
All rights reserved.