I always saw it as a tragic love story. Hurt and Hamilton just want to be free to love each other. It contains one of Mr. Burton's finest and last performances. I always wondered why Ms. Hamilton didn't have an amazing career like Mr. Hurt. Maybe something about the film industry chewing up and spitting out women when they're considered too old? She was amazing. And that soundtrack? I bought the album.
Losing your freedom is the scariest thing in life. But even more frightening is to be denied your humanity. In 1984 this means not being allowed to love or think. John Hurt plays Winston, an everyman so fragile that seeing him tortured by stone-faced Richard Burton is sheer terror (good luck shaking off the dread). In its final 30mins, 1984 becomes not only a great movie, but a monument. Watch it with original score.
An extreme film, extremely bothersome but a worthwhile bother. The storytelling is like no other. The conclusion is both hopeless and hopeful at the same time, this is a work of pure genius. It has a theme of cruelty that is so strong that I nearly had to quit before it was over, but this theme is not excessive in that it is realistic and portrayed for a very good reason.
For a two-hour adaptation of the book, it is pretty concise and faithful, with a perfect subdued cast. It doesn't translate all the complex politics and It loses on the maddening/suffocating atmosphere but it still holds a great cinematic ambience held by Deakins cinematography and Muldowney haunting score.
Orwell's original novel is a contemporary classic, the recent West End theatre production was an amazing adaptation (vimeo.com/96690059), the best thing about this version is John Hurt as Winston Smith. Much like the Harron adaptation of 'American Psycho', there is much to commend, but it is hard to compete with a seminal piece of literature.