Directed by Terry Gilliam
Cinematography by Nicola Pecorini
Think of a movie which half the world or at least a considerable part of the world audience considers a classic and the rest of the crowd says it’s just over hyped and the movie ain’t that great. Now think of a movie which is not very pleasant to watch. Not easy on the eyes nor the brain. But, somehow certain moments of the movie and the film’s weirdity on the whole acts as some kind of attraction when you think of the movie after it’s over.
Now, put these two thoughts together and the answer is Terry Gilliam’s ‘Fear and…Las Vegas’.
The movie’s about a drug addicted journalist (Johnny Depp playing Raoul Duke) and his attorney (Benicio Del Toro playing Dr.Gonzo) who make a trip to Las Vegas for reasons given out as the movie progresses. However, the third traveller in the car’s back and in a way the protagonist of the film is a suitcase filled with almost every illegal drug of the ‘America Dream’. Coz, the whole story revolves around this case full of drugs.
Duke and Gonzo arrive at the hotel they’ve booked in Vegas, but, in an extreme state of trance which creates Duke’s own parallel reality in which all humans are depicted as lizards and other scary reptiles. Gonzo – the guy who is much used to the LSD drags himself and Duke to their room and after slightly sobering up the duo hits the casinos.
This time it is Gonzo’s turn to lose senses and Duke’s turn to take him back to the room. Duke, a journalist by profession, is on the way to Vegas to cover a desert race. He decides not to cover the story, fires his photographer and jumps off the news team car in the middle of the desert.
After a few scenes filled with psychedelic colors and wobbly camera work in the evening where in Gonzo and Duke try to fight out the abstraction of their situation with means of their own, its morning again and Duke wakes up to a room service bill he can’t afford and decides to drive out of Vegas.
The screenplay’s got a bit of a non-linearity about a young girl Gonzo drugs and leaves at a hotel room and a attorney convention about the ill effects of Marijuana.
With yet another eccentric Johnny Depp performance, a dialogue and narration which suit Depp perfectly and a hitchhiking cameo from Tobey Maguire the movie’s a rather brain teasing watch.
The crazy lot of the audiences might like this trip.
Rating – √√√ – absorbing
One of Duke’s lines about Gonzo: “There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. A high powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live. Too rare to die.”