In preparation for the upcoming cinematic version of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand I want to take a look at one of the worst movies ever to be made from amazing source material.
I said amazing source material
I of course am referring to 1984 by George Orwell. An in depth look at a dystopian future and a precautionary tale of a Totalitarian government run amok. "Big Brother is watching you" has worked it's way into the lexicon of our modern age and rightly so, the idea of a government spying on it's own citizens becomes more and more of a possibility.
I thought San Francisco was in Iraq.
The book deals with the intricacies of English Socialism, the destruction of words through the use of New Speak, and, of course, the control of people through double think. The drama of the story is in the mind of the hero Winston as he commits the only real crime left, thought crime. Hopefully you, my educated, handsome, or gorgeous for the ladies, readers out there can see why this would fail on screen.
A rough sampling of my readers
When the drama takes place in the main characters head, and he is dealing with a very involved look at the depths of a twisted government, it's kind of hard to project that on the screen, and with any literary adaptation, that isn't a children's book, there are concepts that are either dropped or not fully fleshed out. There just isn't enough screen time to fit it all in.
The entire book made it to film, sparkling and all.
Orwell crafted one of the best stories ever written, a cautionary tale full of insight into what a government might become if left unchecked. He invented the language of New Speak and even put in an addendum explaining why it was necessary for control of the people of Oceania and the governing rules that apply. The movie showed some torture and briefly skimmed over the rest of the material. To prove why the book is so powerful and the movie so vague, we need only to look at the three tenets of Ingsoc: War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength. The book makes us understand these, the movie... well, find out for yourselves.
"What if instead of explaining things, we just have shit randomly blow up?"
Now, a desperate attempt to get some comments. What is your opinion on the worst literary adaptation ever aborted by Hollywood? Leave your comments and I will belittle your opinion and tell you how your book/movie is still not as bad as mine.