Monday, August 13, 2012

Fahrenheit 451

In a dystopian future, firemen no longer serve to protect the public from fiery blazes, but instead initiate them on anyone found to be housing books. Among their ranks is Montag who after making contact with a beautiful revolutionary woman, discovers a power and love of the written word and seeks to fight the oppression which he has practiced for so long. "Fahreneheit 451" is a reverential treatment of Ray Bradbury's masterful science fiction novel by Francois Truffaut, who omits much from the novel but still retains the book's spirit in what was his English language film debut. Oskar Werner delivers a marvelous, laconic performance as the hero though Julie Christie, as great an actress and beautiful as she is, throws the movie off somewhat playing dual, pivotal roles. Watching the film, I wanted more from the novel (Faber, the Hound, the great chase sequence, and other elements are altered or omitted entirely), but following the superb ending and Truffaut's clear admiration of the material, I found it hard to complain.