This version of the film has both very strong similarities and very strong differences. The first major difference would be the open scenes. Here the film gives a back story of how the world has come to be at its current state. When reading the book I always wondered how and why the society has gotten to this point. I understood that a world war kind of situations lead the party to become a totalitarian ruler but never truly understood why. They only insight of the past given to us from the book were Winston’s flash backs to the past in dreams, which were kind of sporadic. The fact that the film showed the world in its original condition then its final condition is significant because it gives the viewers, like myself, a more in-depth understanding of how drastically things have changed for the worst. It also makes it easier to relate to Winston’s emotions of sadness when he has flashbacks to the past, because I now understood how good life was, I can feel his pain of knowing how far gone society has come.
The film doesn’t show Winston purchasing the diary, but at 5:09 we are first introduced to it. In this scene, he enters his apartment and begins to kick it along the ground out of sight of the monitors. Although the way the book is introduced is different, there is a mutual understanding between the book and the novel that the diary is to be hidden, and will lead to his demise if found. Something I found to be a significant detail in the film would be when he sat down at his desk to write in his diary and crossed out the date 1960 and put 1984. In the novel, there was an in-depth description of Winston’s diary to give the readers the understanding of how old the book was, it was from a time before the party’s ruling, a time of freedom. The diary symbolized freedom, Winston’s mental freedom. The film summed all that up into one simple scene / action, successfully and clearly showing the age of the diary and showcasing its importance.
The film had lots of foreshadowing but the clearest example would be at 8:30 when one of Winston’s friend’s daughter comes into the apartment immediately accusing Winston of thought crime, pointing out the fact that the desk he writes at is too far from the monitor which is suspicions, and threatens to report him to the authorities. This was significant to me because I know everyone is monitored and listened to at all times, so someone from the party had to hear that, this could very much so have been the beginning of the end for Winston. The party from that point could have been watching his every move and waiting to figure out all his allies, Julia, to basically kill 2 birds with one stone.
When Winston and Julia were caught in the room by the hidden monitor, I questioned why they didn’t apprehend him earlier since they knew of his actions. But the party was smarter than that, they used Winston to lure in, and seek out other members of the opposing side. Basically, getting more bang from their buck. For some reason, I never realized or thought of that until I watched this version of the film. In both films and the novel, the idea of Winston being caught is thrown around left and right, most likely because Winston was in fact caught long before we were actually told, but we all knew it just like the party knew of his disloyalty.