I love Big Brother. An interesting re-invention of the classic George Orwell novel.
May 10, 2009
1984 is another cinematic version of the classic novel from the ever interesting novelist George Orwell. He had a terrifying vision of our future world. A world that is under the thumb of a brutal totalitarian government who cares little for the people and keeps them down through repression and poverty. The novel is still effective today as it was over fifty-five years ago. Many of the things that have happened in the novel are becoming ever so present in today's world.
Winston Smith is a citizen in the country of Oceania. He's just another slave to the government's war machine. They seem to be at a constant war with it's rival Eurasia (a.k.a. East Asia). The war has been going on for years and it seems to never end. The people are also angry at a man named Goldstein. Everyone vents their anger towards this individual who speaks truths but no one will listen to this person's pleas. By the way, the government is extremely bored and has a lot of time on it's hands. But Winston soldiers on, pass the tele-images of Big Brother, a way from the prying eyes of the children (who are instructed to snitch on those who seem to be think criming). He endures his repressive lifestyle until he sees a light at the end of a dark and dreary tunnel, a shred of hope in a world that's a living hell. Can Winston weather the storm or will he just become another lifeless soul in a polluted and corrupt world?
Not a direct translation of the novel but it incorporates it's theme, mood, elements and characters. Michael Radford does an excellent job of transporting the world of Oceania upon the silver screen. John Hurt played the role of Winston with his usual effectiveness, such a great actor. Suzanna Hamilton is workable as Julia. But the main star is Richard Burton in his last role as O'Brien, a government official who has no emotions left within his soul. He has neither feelings nor empathy for his fellow man. Only the good for the party and Big Brother. A shame that Richard Burton could have never capitalize on his role in this movie. He could have made an evil villain in another production. In a world of sociopaths he could have been their king.