Friday, June 18, 2010
Day 345: Fahrenheit 451 (1966) - Rank 3.5/5
One of Bradbury's most renowned books received a decent screen adaptation thanks to the expertise of Francois Truffaut. For those unfamiliar with the plot, the story is set in a dystopian future where the printed word is outlawed. Guy Montag, the main protagonist, is a professional bookburner - an avocation generated by an amalgamation of Cold War fears as well as references to the Third Reich it seems. Montag decides to indulge in reading when he acquires a text during a routine burning and soon he finds his mindset shifting as the power of reading influences his mind. The story's a solid one and Truffaut's visual sense creates a bleak but visually distinct look for the future (akin to the world created in "A Clockwork Orange"). The film's main drawback is the performance by Oskar Werner as Guy Montag, a role that he woefully underplays. I'm aware that in this fictitious future that he is a mere cog, regulated by perscriptions, and a muting of emotions is to be expected, but Werner is damn near comatose for most of the film (a surprising outcome since he'd collaborated with Truffaut before). At least his performance does not detract from the story's uplifting message.
Watch the Trailer