Feb 16, 2012
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a movie under the influence of drugs- from beginning to end, the large quantity of addictive substances influence not only the characters, but also the story, the visuals, the sound and so on. It's absolutely crazy and I still don't know what to think of it- do I like it, do I hate it or is it too messed up to form an opinion?
Either way, I have to acknowledge the talent and courage(?) of Terry Gilliam and, of course, of both Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro- yes, they are just playing a part, but the extent to which they went through to showcase their characters is commendable.
The story is set in the 1970s and it's about the days Duke, a "Doctor in Journalism", spends in Las Vegas with Gonzo, his lawyer and friend, covering two different events; the script is adapted from a book by Hunter S.Thompson. Now I have never taken drugs, so I have to ask: do people really go bat-crazy like that? Do they hallucinate worms, monsters and do they react like Duke and Gonzo or is it an exaggeration? The scenes in the hotel room (Gonzo in the bathtub, the morning after the Andrenichrome binge) plus the ethereal scene in the carrousel, are all pure madness, showing a level of creativity and craziness that you would never think about, unless you were under the influence of drugs.
Of course, not all of the movie was like that. We do get moments of slight lucidity, where Duke or Gonzo try to act normal, or be the voice the reason- they support and take care of each other when the other is high....well, they're both high all the time, so when one is hallucinating and the other is not, to put it more clearly. The film doesn't have a clear direction and it is random, in most aspects- I actually don't even remember the ending...weird.
The way Terry Gilliam approached the book and made the film was very interesting and crazy, yes, but appropriate and close to the reality (I presume), while still making it funny and entertaining. He uses bright colors, psychedelic music and weird angle shots to portray a wild era in America.
I loved the random cameos throughout the film, like Tobey Maguire as the hitchhiker, Cameron Diaz as a reporter, Mark Harmon, Craig Bierko as Lacerda (where did this guy disappear, I used to see him in a lot of movies growing up), Flea- FLEA from the RHCP :), Christopher Meloni, Christina Ricci and a gorgeous Ellen Barkin.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is pretty special- from the characters, to the cinematography and editing, to the story and feeling of it- everything is a little bit surprising. It is definitely a memorable movie and you should see it!
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This is a valid and interesting film whose originality I acknowledge. But I don't like it, and I certainly don't love it like some people do. It's a wild ride that I'll definitely need to see a few more times before forming a concrete opinion on.ReplyDelete
I've always wanted to take a look at this film, and I still definitely will. There are some films that just need to be seen, whether you end up liking them or hating them. Loved the write up though, you raise heaps of interesting points!ReplyDelete
Wow guys, you're fast, thank you :)ReplyDelete
@Tyler: I completely agree- I know it's original and it should be seen, but personally I still don't know what to think of it
@Ruth: Yeah, you're rigjt, you should check it out, it's one of those movies people talk about. Thanks, glad you liked the post!
I love camoes too, McGuire was my favorite :) I love the movie, it's one of the most unique movies I've ever seen and Depp is absolutely hilarious in it.ReplyDelete
I haven't seen this in a very long time. I remember it being completely bonkers.ReplyDelete
I have been naughty in the past, but I have never seen as vivid hallucinations on LSD, just slight morphs, again though those days were a long time ago... I am a responsible father now :-)
Nice Post, Love this film. I blame this film for causing me to dislike Rum Diary so much.ReplyDelete
I read somewher that the cameo with Gary Busey as a cop was all ad libbed.
I recognize some of the references to this one in Rango even though I haven't seen it. Not sure I'd enjoy this one from what I've read though, but I might give it a go one day.ReplyDelete
@Sati: Yes, it is an unique movie and I think this one might be the turning point for Johnny Depp to the crazy parts (although I remember some weird Ed Woods? films before that)ReplyDelete
@Scott: Oh my, I appreciate the honesty :) and yes, it was a pretty bonkers movie!
@3guys1movie: I read that too, I know there was a lot of freedom when it came to shooting, they improvised a lot
@Ruth: I haven't seen Rango, so I don't know what you mean, but I think you should see this- you might not like it, but it is a special one
This is one of those movies where it really helps to have read the book first. It makes it much easier to make sense as to what the hell is going on. I know if I watched the movie first, I would have been horribly lost. Definitely a "love it or hate it" type film.ReplyDelete
@Eric: You're probably right, maybe I should have read the book first. I did understand the movie, but it was just crazy, from all points of view. Special? Yes. Amazing movie? not sure. Thanks for dropping by!ReplyDelete
Hi! Vi la película y es excelente. Y justo la vi hospedada en uno de los más lindos hoteles en las vegas... Bye!ReplyDelete
No se si eres un mensaje spam o una persona real que esta leyendo my blog, pero gracias por comentar. Me gustaria saber que mi blog esta visto por jente de todo el mundoReplyDelete
I think the first 40 minutes of this film are ingenious, but once they leave Vegas for the first time, it really falls off and doesn't know when (or how) to end. But I agree that it is wholly original, so I have to give it credit for that.ReplyDelete
My favorite scene is Depp and Del Toro planning the trip out at the restaurant. "And... you're going to need the cocaine."
@Alex: Yes, it is original, I gave it credit for that, too and I like the scene you mentioned, as well. They were talking about drugs like it was water and snacks.ReplyDelete
I have done some bad stuff in my time as well. I have never packed suitcases full of different drugs though. I think a lot of this movie is definitely for humor, I could be wrong but I think most people would have died half way through the drugs these guys ingested. I think that is what makes this movie so funny, cause most everyone has gone to Las Vegas and done stuff you can't talk about however, I don't think anyone has done this many drugs in this amount of time.ReplyDelete