451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper self ignites. In this grim look at a totalitarian future, firemen have taken on a new duty of starting fires instead of putting them out (complete with flame throwers), specifically with the task of burning all books, as way of suppressing independent thought and action in the public. The film's story centers around a young fireman, Guy Montag, who finds himself questioning his job, even as he encounters an odd young woman, and learns about an underground of rebels who each memorize the entire contents of a book, so that they can preserve it even without the use of paper.
Directed by: Ramin Bahrani
. Starring: Michael B. Jordan
, Aaron Davis
, Cindy Katz
, Michael Shannon
, Mayko Nguyen
, Dylan Taylor
, Saad Siddiqui
, Katherine Cullen
, Edsson Morales
, Jordan Baker
, Nathanial Buzzanga-Silveira
, Charlotte Flint
, Luke Flint
. Music by: Antony Partos
, Matteo Zingales
Ray Bradbury, most famous for Star Trek, wrote about a dystopian future where truth was suppressed by those in power. This movie isn't about that.
Anyone who has actually read a book, any book, much less the "actual" book which spawned this movie would be aghast at storyline in this adaptation. Please. Not even in 1950's USSR when Stalin was still alive.
I read a review of this movie that attempts to convince people the original book was about television and the author's fear that television would overtake books. (HINT: it did). This is a ridiculous notion on its face. Cassettes overtook 8-Track tapes but no one wasted a single moment of time or effort ensuring that the possession of 8-Track tapes were a crime, the entire history of 8-Track tapes were obliterated from the face of the Earth and that anyone who had an 8-Track tape suffered the most severe punishments delivered in society. To believe that Bradbury was writing about a fear of television is a ridiculous notion.
Forget the irony of a movie about burning books that is based on a book about burning books that has thrived for decades in a society that, gasp, doesn't actually burn books. Why did anyone bother claiming this was based on the book of the same name? This movie must be one of the most egregious wastes of money in the history of film. The movie in Idiocracy about the guy's butt would be more entertaining and more likely to actually happen in any literal future of the world than this terrible "adaptation" from HBO.
Forget, even, why anyone in the movie can read if the written word is criminalized. The head "firefighter" is literally an encyclopedia of books and who wrote them yet he hasn't been killed or imprisoned by the government.
The reality is no civilized society could survive the deliberate and actual extinction of human knowledge. The entire premise of this adaptation is fallacy. Bragging to school children that all books would be destroyed by the time they grow up is probably going to end up being one of the dumbest lines ever written in the history of the written word. Having said that I understand that the bulk of college students receive degrees in useless areas and will therefore move back into their parent's home. Not every book is worth reading or teaching. But burning them wouldn't benefit society.
And the lady "terrorist" in the movie who had books strapped around her waste which she then lit is pretty dumb, and made more so by the fact that she calmly burned to death without even changing facial expression or screaming in pain. Just stood there calmly while she "detonated" herself using a match touched to books strapped around her waste. And the firemen watched in fear because she surprised them as if she were a suicide bomber. Very. Stupid.
I cannot wait until someone takes the famous Hitler clip from 'Downfall' and makes a "Hitler watched Fahrenheit 451" video for YouTube. That will be vastly more entertaining than the actual HBO version of the book.
Review by Jaime Gonzales from the Internet Movie Database.