Nineteen Eighty-Four; Science-fiction drama, UK, 1984; D: Michael Radford, S: John Hurt, Suzanna Hamilton, Richard Burton, Cyril Cusack
London, Airstrip One, 1984. The society is ruled by a totalitarian superstate, Oceania, through a supreme leader Big brother, who may not even exist, in which he constantly stimulates the public for a war with Euroasia and Africa, even though nobody knows why, and spreading messages that life and the economy are getting better and better, even though they are worse and worse. Winston Smith works in the Ministry of Truth as a clerk who changes historical events according to the wishes of the Party. One day, he meets the open minded Julia with whom he starts a relationship and philosophising about the unbearable life they are living. But they get discovered by the police. O'Brien, a high ranking member of the Party, brain washes Winston, makes him betray Julia and endorse Big Brother.
Out of the brilliant anti-Utopian novel "1984" by George Orwell one could have made a cinematic masterwork, which, unfortunately, wasn't achieved in the movie adaptation of the same title directed by Michael Radford and released, ironically, in 1984. The authors crafted the film too dry and sterile, losing the original satirical touch, magnificent philosophical questions (doublethink, manipulation of the masses, "invisible" dictatorship) and poetry (the wonderful scene in the book in which Winston thinks how Julia, by taking off her clothes, is almost "wiping out a whole culture" is in the film only reduced to Julia taking her clothes off), but John Hurt is once again in top notch shape, whereas in traces there still remained some contemplative messages and themes about human ignorance and an imprisoned human spirit which became a slave of imposed rules, norms and false illusions.Grade:++