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
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
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.