Fahrenheit 451 (2018)

I read Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 last year and to say that I loved it is a little reductive. I'm not the only one who feels that way about Bradbury's novel and therefore turning it into a good movie was not easy. That said, I had high expectations for HBO's Fahrenheit 451 because of the network's resources and the cast, especially the cast. Unfortunately, it's a misfire.

Set in a distant future, when books are banned and firefighters, in order to destroy them, start fires instead of putting them out, the film follows Guy Montag (Michael B. Jordan), a young fireman who does his job without questioning believing that's the right thing to do. One day, while on his job, Guy witnesses something terrible and begins to question his task. 

While the basic plot points from Bradbury's novel are here, there are many changes --that Hollywood ending, seriously?!-- and some parts were completely left out which gives the film a feeling of incompleteness. In spite of that, the film was off to a good start. In fact, the first part is pretty engaging and enjoyable but eventually, the lazy writing took over and the story no longer interested me, it only bored me.

I did like, however, the filmmakers decided to make the story more suitable to our times by incorporating modern technologies, especially live streaming.  Still, I'm not sure having the internet in a story like this makes a lot of sense. And it also made it look like a Black Mirror episode. 

The characters are another problem as they completely lack development. Guy Montag's motives are not clear at all. Also, the filmmakers left out Montag's wife and replaced her with an uninteresting love interest which took away from the character a layer of depth --and it would have been much appreciated here. 

In spite of that, Michael B. Jordan still manages to carry the film and give a pretty good performance as the leading character. Michael Shannon's performance, on the other hand, is much greater. He once again gives an excellent performance as he truly captures the character of Captain Beatty and delivers the character's evil, satanic presence. 

In addition to Jordan and Shannon's strong performances, Fahrenheit 451 has quite beautiful visuals. It does feel like they were trying to replicate Blade Runner 2049 but the dark and gritty cinematography and the futuristic neon aesthetics are very beautiful to look at.


  1. I do plan on seeing this though I do have low expectations as I wasn't fond of the last time it was adapted which I think was more than 50 years ago by Francois Truffaut in his only English-language film that he made. It had its moments but it felt off at times which is why it's my least favorite film by Truffaut.

    1. I've only heard great things about Truffaut's movie so far. I'll still give it a chance, I think.