We must burn ALL the books!
Writing this review I am planning to compare it somewhat to another film reviewed on here, Harrison Bergeron, though there are several decades between both films, both deal with similar themes, by two contemporary scifi writers. First the main theme of the film, Fahrenheit 451 is basically an dystopian drama about a vapid, sterile society where a gang of "firemen" go around burning literature, not subversive literature or most literature, all literature from pulp novels and poetry, to medical studies and philosophy, this is somewhat a weak-point of this film, because its difficult to see how a modern society could function, without some amount of literacy. If someone wonders, is their really no form of writing shown in the film, then the awnser is nope, medicine bottles are labeled by colour and number, files on people are just photographs and the newspapers are just long comics. In that sense, the world of Harrison Bergeron is just more believable, where mediocrity gets inforced through surpression of intelligence. What does make the film better and more relevant is the depiction of the society itself, its basically a gigantic criticism of modern tv culture, materialism, conformity, addiction to pharmaceutical drugs. In that sense its somewhat more hardhitting then Harrison Bergeron, which shows a conformist 50's type of society, where people atleast are homely, comfy and happy. Another point it does better, is that you actually get to see a glimpse of the old fashioned high culture that you automatically pick up by reading novels, unlike Harrison Bergeron, which seems to show us that important culture is primarily old films, Buster Keaton and jazz. On the film itself, its all right, I cant say I find either the actors, or the story itself that special, mostly because you dont really get a solid idea how the main character Montag has changed or transformed and honestly a bit of romance would have given the film an added emotion subtext. The films strenght is its depiction of a dystopian society, not the story itself.