While watching Brave New World the 1998 version, I was felt a little disappointed since I noticed a lot of changes and felt as if the book was a million times better. The first difference that I noticed, and that took me by surprise was that Bernard Marx is never really seen as a complete outsider. He is seen as a “normal” citizen and is somewhat recognized and it his transformation is never shown. In my opinion I felt as if this gave a whole new outlook on the movie. Bernard in the book is immediately portrayed as an outsider and different especially physically, and when we focused on his transformation it felt more dramatic and shows his character on both ends of the spectrum. Sadly in the movie due to him not being portrayed this way caused him to be more of a supporting character instead of the main character. We are never shown the internal complexities and issues which Bernard faced in the book and this also causes the plot to become malleable since there is less importance to everything in the movie.
There were also other major absences such as the presence and mentioning of Ford and Helmholtz Watson. Not mentioning Ford was a huge difference since the whole purpose of the society was with the presence/belief of Ford. Yet in the movie he was not even mentioned once, although we were shown the assembly line in the film. In the film there was no religious belief and this deviated from the book since Ford was one of the underlying important focuses of the book. By not having Ford in the film there is an absence of how the society has progressed and how their belief in Ford is centered in their daily lives, actions and beliefs. Meanwhile by Helmholtz also not being present in the film also does not show how a law-abiding citizen could also change so drastically and show how the World State was facing many issues. Helmholtz was a troubled character which internally knew that he was different and this aspect allowed us to see many issues with the World State, yet due to his absence in the film we never had a chance to observe the inside works of the World State.
I also feel as if the Savage Reservation was never really shown into detail or explained in the film. We are shown a small glimpse but it is not enough for the viewer to really know how it is used to show the difference between the advanced and intellectual World State versus the primitive people of the Savage Reservation. By Aldous Huxley having this in his book, it allowed for the existence of the dystopia and showed how the World State was great and almighty when compared to the savage and primitive people of the Reservation. This setting was also great since in the book we were able to gain a better understanding of Linda’s and John’s life and roles there and also served as a point in which we would be able to see their change once they went to the World State. Yet all of this in nonexistent since the Reservation was never a focused setting in the film, therefore it causes us not to question the World State and the whole cast of characters.
There were various differences between the book and the film such as John having a last name in the film (copper), Lenina becoming the main character and her being receptive to trying and learning new things from John the savage. Overall I think I will stick with the book, I enjoyed it much more and it was richer in detail compared to the 1998 film version.