Apr 11, 2007

1984, the movie

As I said in a previous post, I read Orwell's novel "1984" recently. Yesterday I got to see the movie.

I had a hard time finding it. Blockbuster and Netflix both do not carry it. When I used to live in Seattle, Scarecrow Video, the biggest movie store west of the Mississippi, was my ultimate destination for all these rare movies. However, we don't have such nice places in the bay area (yet).

Fortunately, the Peninsula Library System had a copy of this movie. One have to respect public library systems in this country.

The movie is interesting: it was filmed between April and June in 1984 - the same period in which the novel takes place.

If you didn't read the novel, the movie is disappointing and vague. The movie excels at reproducing the atmosphere of the novel: the Big Brother police state, the people, the cars, the military everywhere, the "ministry of truth" offices and the "ministry of love" policemen, etc.

However, the movie does a very bad job at developing the story. Orwell's treatment and development of events and dialogs in the novel is just brilliant. And it makes the novel, in my opinion, a very fine piece of literature. This is in addition to its compelling political and philosophical message. The events in the movie seem to happen sequentially without much explanation or proper build up.

I am not very surprised that very few places carry the movie.

If you have read the novel and want to "visualize" the world of 1984, then definitely see the movie. Otherwise, don't ruin the story for yourself - pick up the novel and read it.


  1. I heard a lot of good things about the book, my next Indigo / chapters visit trip I will buy it.

    I am a bookaholic

  2. I love the book! Actually it is the best piece of literature I've ever laid my hands on!

    I'm not tempted to watch the movie, as you said, it would ruin the visions you had built up.