Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Review #2 (Hunter S.Thompson)

As promised, here is my comparative review of 'Where the buffalo roam' and 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'

My definition of an artist is given below, If your's does not match this, then probably the review may not be completely accurate for you.

Also, If you do not know who Hunter S.Thompson is, stop reading and go curl up with your latest Dan Brown\Paulo Coelho I don't care what.

Artist: Is one who has not an ounce of phony in him, original to such a degree that he may be considered by the majority of the power drunk mainstream populace to be a menace to their carefully constructed systems of thought, an Iconoclast of the highest order, he must be feared.

'Where the buffalo roam' is the older of the two, with Bill Murray playing the part of Hunter Thompson, whereas Johnny Depp plays the corresponding part in 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'. Of the two, Bill Murray does a more realistic job of portraying Thompson, I However, like Depp's version more because his version is closer to my 'idea' of the 'ideal' character. Depp's exaggerated depiction of Hunter Thompson's mannerisms kicked up, for me, Fear and loathing's level by a notch.

In all of this we must not forget one thing though, While Murray plays 'Hunter' himself, Depp plays 'Duke', Thompson's alter ego, so there is bound to be more flair in Depp's character. I hope you know of Thompson's struggles with trying to make out if he was being invited to come as himself or whether they wanted him to come as his character 'Duke'

There is no doubt in my mind that Hunter is Warren Ellis's inspiration for Spider Jerusalem
You can see the material that led to some of the plot elements of Transmetropolitan, like the scene where Hunter meets Reagan in the loo(this is shown in 'Where the Buffalo Roam'). Luckily for Ellis, he could make use of the futuristic settings and thus, not bound by the limitations of real life, Ellis's 'rendition' of the quintessential 'Gonzo journalist' is almost perfect in my book.

Anyway back to the review, 'Where the Buffalo Roam' has a broader scope and deals with his life over a large period of time, while Fear and Loathing... is a more concentrated effort focusing more on the drugs aspect, even though this might be a kind of limitation, I felt that Fear and Loathing did a better job conveying Hunter's philosophy to the audience, it also had the better cinematic effects. This is not to say that the former was not great, there are a few real gems in 'Where the Buffalo Roam' which is by far the funnier movie, with Robert Boyle doing a better job than Benicio Del Toro as Hunter's equally crazy (ex)Attorney. I found Benicio's portrayal to be a tad monotonous and in fact, evil.

In 'Where the Buffalo Roam', there is a scene where Hunter's editor calls up Thompson's hotel room, where a party is taking place, while Hunter has taken of with Lazlo, a black man answers the phone.
The conversation goes something like this:

Black man: Hello, hello ?
(people dancing, loud music)
Editor: Hello, Is it hunter ?
Black man; Hunter ? no man, this here is a party, it is not a safari!

What more can I say ?


"Where the buffalo roam" : ****1\2 (4.5)
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'" : ***** (5.0)

Listening to 'My New World' - Transatlantic

No comments: