1984 Except in 1956

So when I started watching the movie, I noticed some things, the obvious one being the fact that it was in black and white, which is expected for its time. It’s just that I’m so used to everything being in color. Another thing I noticed was that the movie starts differently from the book. It actually starts with explosions and people moving to find shelter. One of those people being Winston, who just so happens to run into Julia. I feel like them meeting right at the beginning adds more impact to the scenes they’re in together.

Speaking of Julia and Winston, their appearances in the movie were drastically different from what I imagined based on the book. Instead of being lanky, he was portrayed by Edmond O’Brien, who is by no means as skinny as a twig. It takes away from Winston’s character because I couldn’t imagine someone like that getting manhandled and not at least injuring someone in the process. I half expected him to sucker punched Mr. Charrington and O’Brien, who was renamed to O’Connor (I’ll come back to that). Julia, however is far less of a problem. The only gripe I had with her was the color of her hair. She was supposed to be dark-haired, specifically a brunette. However, she was blonde in this adaptation, but honestly didn’t take away or change anything from the story.

The sneaky bastard whose last name is O’Brien was depicted very accurately in my opinion. I think the actor fit the part and played him well. I don’t know why they changed his name though, probably because of Edmond. Mr. Charrington was okay however. They cast an old man for the role, which makes sense, but like I said, his part was okay.

Something I didn’t point out was that at the early beginning, I noticed there was already propaganda being shown. I saw a sign that said “Hate Eurasia” and another one being “Big Brother is Watching You.” The movie starts off strong with the bit of foreshadowing. If I didn’t read the novel, I would probably ignore those signs and see them as meaningless. Also, the layout of the city. I know that it’s obviously full of people, but I got a vibe of abandonment and emptiness from just the buildings. The fact that the movie was in black and white only helped support that idea. It could have been due to the bombings and it does make the most sense. However I’m not too sure if the bombings are actually from Eurasia or the Party reinforcing their hatred. I don’t remember if they talk about it in the movie but I wouldn’t put it past the Party if they were the ones behind it.

At the end of the movie, when Winston was getting “cured,” his appearance was becoming rugged and decrepit the more he got tortured to the point that he was put in front of a mirror and he couldn’t believe that was what he became. But eventually he is “cured” and released and finds Julia again, but the contact is a bit…..awkward. Julia looks distant and Winston is just surprised to see her.

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