1984 (1984) (Blu-ray Review)

1984 (1984) (Blu-ray Review)

1984 (1984) (Blu-ray Review)

0 comments 📅06 August 2019, 09:26

1984 (1984) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Michael Radford
Starring: John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton
Rated: R/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from The Criterion Collection

This masterly adaptation of George Orwell’s chilling parable about totalitarian oppression gives harrowing cinematic expression to the book’s bleak prophetic vision. In a rubble-strewn surveillance state where an endless overseas war props up the repressive regime of the all-seeing Big Brother, and all dissent is promptly squashed, a profoundly alienated citizen, Winston Smith (thrillingly played by John Hurt), risks everything for an illicit affair with the rebellious Julia (Suzanna Hamilton) in a defiant assertion of humanity in the face of soul-crushing conformity. Through vividly grim production design and expressionistically desaturated cinematography by Roger Deakins, Michael Radford’s 1984 conjures a dystopian vision of postwar Britain as fascistic nightmare—a world all too recognizable as our own.

Big Brother is always watching in 1984 and now you can watch him back in stunning HD thanks to a Blu-ray release from The Criterion Collection! Based on the word of H.G. Wells, 1984 is a bleak and haunting tale in a number of ways. It gets very political for its time and it even relates now and oddly seems to always relate to the world. The movie is visually an eye-catching film. Just the start of the movie alone is enough to catch your eye and pull you into what is about to happen. Then what follows is a story of many things, not limited but also including a relationship between our female and male lead. While many have called the book that this was based on one of the most important books of the 20th century, I don’t think you want to undercut the movie either, as it doesn’t forget the point and makes a very thought-provoking film that above all else really seems to make you think about things when you watch it.

The character of O’Brien played by Richard Burton is one that will be sticking with you after you watch this movie. The way he plays the character is the things that a complex character definition is made of. He doesn’t try to hammer in his point of view, he does it in a way that makes things all the more interesting. I think everyone brings their A-game in this movie, but that performance is one that really drives this one home. All in all, this is a great release from Criterion. The movie looks better than even I expected and I know what Criterion can do. Besides an eye-catching transfer, this movie packs some interviews in the extras and comes with an interesting essay by A. L. Kennedy. If you’ve never seen or read 1984, this is the release you will want to own to get right into it.

Extras

– BRAND NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM, supervised by cinematographer Roger Deakins, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
– New interviews with director Michael Radford and cinematographer Roger Deakins
– New interview with David Ryan, author of George Orwell on Screen
– Behind-the-scenes footage
– Trailer
– PLUS: An essay by writer and performer A. L. Kennedy

Quality of Transfer: 100%

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