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Manuel de Layet [Cathode Ray Mission 06.25.18] scifi dystopic

Let me state it clearly now so it doesn't come as a surprise: This is not a picture, it is a disgrace.

The script is a rickety hodge-podge of Ray Bradbury’s novel, the Truffaut adaptation, Huxley's "Brave New World", Orwell's ""1984 and, sadly, just in case they weren’t laying it thick enough and we needed an inception level of dystopia, Equilibrium. All the tropes, all the time, squared.

It's such a mess I don't even know where to begin.

Aesthetically, it’s shot "generic grimdark scifi, heavily inspired by Blade Runner" style with a set lighting out of a DirectX 1 game. The cinematography exhibits a grasp of composition and color psychology that’s tenuous at best, arthritic most of the time. Acting is irrelevant, not that both leads aren't doing their best, but the end result is a calamity.

Thematically they updated the setting into the near future, in a world where Facebook et al became the government, and where your every waking move is scrutinized through Orwellian bugs fitted in each home. Webcam-looking, striped down Alexas called "Yuxie". I don't know what bother me the most with it, the pun in itself or the fact they used some bastardized variation on Huxley to name something plucked from "1984".

That kind of setting is regularly, and masterfully, treated in Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror. So it's not that like they didn't have examples in how to treat the invasive power of technology, the surrender of privacy for the sake of convenience, the dumbing down through instant gratification and mass exposure and all the trappings coming with a dystopian projection of present day material progress.

Come to think of it, even Seth MacFarlane's The Orville managed to deal with that handful of topics better than this atrocity plastered with the undeserved name of a Classic.

Trying to force silicon into a story that was devoid of it needs caution. The book, and by extension the original film, work because of the absence of instant connectivity regardless of distance. Here the set pieces they chose to keep closer to the source feel contrived, awkward, and inept. And yet less ludicrous than what they added as a modern flavor.

To add insult to injury they try to be clever in the books displayed here and there, and with pained attempts at kindergarten grade symbolism.

On a side note, this was the first screening with audible grunts of exasperation throughout its course, and only screening I attended ending without any applause. Says a lot when a roomful of critics does that. Now, can someone please dig out Darabont's script and give it a go?

Recommended Release: Fahrenheit 451

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zaphod777 (2 years ago) Reply

weak soulless pap

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