By Nikos Tsinakis
The classic novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953 just received an update in the cinematic format. The unmistakably bleak, futuristic authoritarian dystopia setting seemed more than appropriate given the current political climate the world is in. Additionally, it’s been more than half a century since the last outing of this book being made into a feature film, the update seemed to be delivered well in due time.
Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends, despite amazing performances being delivered from a well-rounded cast featuring Michael B Jordan (Black Panther, Creed) and Michael Shannon (The shape of water), this HBO remake fails to do the famous book justice and the concepts it outlines by exhausting most of the screen time to preach a politically correct message, but it gets worse, it openly praises communism (We’ll get to that part later). This became truly a great embarrassment to the writer of the classic as the intent of the original book had to do with critiquing against limiting people’s free thought, a practice which liberals today loves to exercise.
‘In a terrifying care-free future, a young man, Guy Montag, whose job as a fireman is to burn all books, questions his actions after meeting a young girl…and begins to rebel against society.’ – IMDB
Set in the backdrop of Cleveland Ohio, the film makes a quick introduction of our main fireman characters. In an early scene, the Cleveland fire department gives a school presentation. It was actually one of the only few scenes that I found engaging and believable, in large part because it’s easy to see how kids would view a charming, studly guy like Michael B. Jordan as a celebrity or public figure. But before a burning demonstration for the youngsters, both To the Lighthouse and Moby Dick are shown on screens. Each is about a paragraph long. Anything beyond that, says Captain Beatty (played by a steely Michael Shannon), is insanity.
The thought-provoking journey in the original book was completely ignored in favor of a superlinear narrative where the main character Guy Montag, played by Michael B Jordan goes through the phases to eventually rebel against an “oppressive” society without portraying to the audience the reasons behind it. Any substance and nuance were left in the dust in exchange for a badly composed personality assault against Trump in the current political context we live in right now. No attempt was made to hide such blatant advocating for the leftist agenda as seen within the opening act of the film; the main group of protagonists in the story being persecuted clearly resemble your average college leftist today.
The politically correct narrative was demonstrated further as we see the rag-tagged revolutionaries against the oppressive system all happen to be female, racial minority or a combination of both. That point was further driven home during the last act where our “revolutionaries” revealed their plan to preserve books without trace: by memorizing one book each, a nod was made to Mao Tse Dong’s little red book, was added by HBO’s writers that I’m sure would make most clear-minded people feel flabbergasted.
A noteworthy mention should be made that Mel Gibson, one of the few conservatives left in the film industry expressed his interest in directing this remake, it makes one wonder how much better such an adjustment would improve upon this HBO sponsored liberal brainwash.
The fact that HBO’s latest outing of this cold war classic has changed so much of the original in order to appease a modern,.short attention spanned, social justice preaching audience, only increases the disappointment further.