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Farenheit 451 **
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Starring Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack
Directed by Francois Truffaunt


     I went into watching "Fahrenheit 451" expecting to see something special.  It's considered to be a classic film by many and a good film by most.  I am now not in either one of those brackets.  "Fahrenheit 451," named after the temperature that books burn, is an exercise in boring exposition.  To top everything off, the artsy attempts at originality fall flat.  The whole thing just seems so very dated by its "special" effects and lack of anything special at all.
     "Fahrenheit 451" takes place in a future where books are outlawed for their emotion causing components.  Firemen burn books and that's about it.  They have dropped the fire putting out and picked up their flamethrowers. 
     But, you see, books are good and the emotions they cause are good.  It's all very elementary, but that's the deep message that the film hopes to convey.  Censorship should only go so far.  Fight for your beliefs.  Blah.  Blah.  Blah.
     The themes aren't new, but the crappy visuals are.  Just about every time the firemen leave to burn books on their trusty futuristic fire engine an awful miniature fire engine with an awful set of awful mini firemen takes off along the roads of the future.  It's awful.  That alone destroyed any chance for the film to entertain me.  I think I cried internally after seeing it for the first time.
     But the biggest crime is the film's slow, boring exposition.  The exciting events are unexciting.  The heightened danger in the middle never gets to be dangerous enough and I just didn't care about the characters at all. 
     The new technology that the population uses has been around for decades (big screen TVs, intercoms, monorails, etc.).  And while its worth noting that the film's predictions have come true in the technological present, it must also be noted that the technology in the film is dated by it's "60s-ish" style and general oldness.
     The acting also bears "60s-ish" campiness at times.  Julie Christie is very bad at being a believable human being.  Her character may have proved to be interesting if Christie was not as annoying as she is.
     The only saving grace is the work of lead actor Oskar Werner.  There's a sadness and longing in his eyes that is immediately believable.  His search for meaning just doesn't merit empathy or sympathy, and that's a shame.        

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