Hey all, I have recently finished watching the 1980 film Brave New World which is based of the book. Overall I found the movie pretty entertaining since it was pretty close to the original source material. Nothing like seeing colorful catsuits and creepy smiles to get you thinking about how this film differs from the book. On a serious note I feel as though the film focuses more on specific events and dialogue in order to make the story more linear with whats going on.
The first major difference that we see in the film is how the narration begins in the story. The film starts with a much younger Tomakin and Linda planning their trip to the savage lands. There we witness how Linda has an accidental pregnancy, and is never to be found in Malpais. Tomakin returns back to civilization where we see how he is connected to Bernard Marx excessive alcohol mistake. The film focuses 1/3 of its time in order to build on its backstory, premise and connect their main characters to each other. It shows how John and Bernard’s upbringing are vastly different due to where they lived. Bernard grew up in the comfort of civilization always having what he wanted and going through normal conditioning. At 48 minutes we see a scene with Bernard being conditioned through pain to participate in erotic play with the other children. Bernard still becomes the man who just doesn’t fit in normal society. We also see John growing in the poor slums of Malpais being raised by his mother Linda. In the 46 minute mark we see Linda telling John how wonderful her old home is, making John want to escape to this happy place. The story sets up the characters in a way where see them wanting to be happy and fit in society. At fifty two minutes the story picks where the book begins and we’re left waiting for them to meet. I personally found allot of emphasis on this part of the story since it was quickly brought up and put to rest in the book. The backstory allows us to understand how the characters will develop in the future and understand who they are better, John wanting to be happy in civilization, and Bernard being unhappy in civilization.
The next emphasis that the movie focused on was Mustapha Mond’s character. In the book we do not see much of him but he plays a bigger role in the movie. Mustapha is not just some character who has a philosophical debate at the end of the story, he actually play’s the role of controller. We first see Mustapha Mond 13 minutes in the movie, when he is talking to Helmholtz about a film proposing new ideas that reflect improvments in conditioning. We then see Mond who really likes the film but with a smile on his face says it must be destroyed. Helmholtz tries to defend the film by saying it shows improvement in society, Mustapha replies with
14:43″recent implies past. improvement implies progress, and if the present is perfect then there cant be progress.”
This scene allows us to capture the ways censorship in the civilization works. All work that does not follow the goals of stability and perfection must not be allowed. Here we see how writers like Helmholtz can no longer work for himself but for the state. In the book we get a similar situation on pg162
“The authors mathematical treatment of the conception of purpose is novel and highly ingenious, but heretical and far as the present social order is concerned, dangerous and potentially subversive. Not to be published… What fun would it be … if one didnt have to think about happiness!”
I would say in the book Mustapha seems more relatable since the book but feels conflicted when he thinks about why he must destroy it. But in the movie we see Mustapha showing a more strict attitude. He quickly smiles praises the film and deletes it in a apathetic manner. This portrayal of Mustapha definitely makes him seem more like an antagonist. We also begin to see more of Mustapas motives with the other characters. Mustapha plays the controller, and he has a role in each of the characters fate. To explain we first see the scientist in Mustapha when he says
16:18 “I even composed a scandalous readout myself once, I think it was something about the possible benefits of allowing mutational differentiation in randomly selected embryos, an interesting idea but dangerous in the wrong hand.”
He begins following up on this curiosity in many scenes where he allows Bernard to live. At age six he sees Bernard is alive and extremely smart and wants to keep tabs on him. When Bernard request to go to the savage reservations he is called a ” Special project”. Mustapha responds with
58:10 ‘If a random variant like Bernard proves to be socially adaptable, it might mean certain mutations in the assembly process would be useful.”
Here we see Bernard playing into Mustapha’s plan in order to study him. It shows a darker side to the controller than we see in the book since he clearly shows a manipulative side to his character. He clearly hopes to play out those experiments he desperately wanted. Mustapha then shows curiosity in John when
1:25:50 “viviparous birth and an unconditioned environment the perfect experimental subject.” and 1:57:00 ” That is precisely what the experiment is all about. to determine whether or not the savage can adjust to our higher plane of morality… Mr. Marx is now a part of that experiment too.”
Mustaphas’ manipulative views reflect in a scientific way only hoping to learn from John and Bernard’s hardships as they try to accustom to civilization.He is clearly an antagonist since he views them as experiments and not people. Compared to the book Mustapha doesnt show much of a hand in the daily lives of these two men.
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