Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas :
The Film - The Book
Gonzo journalist, Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp), and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo (Benicio del Toro), both drive to
Nevertheless, it also might be something to do with: (a) The hitchhiker (Tobey Maguire), whom they pick up and dump during there travels. (b) The lizard-people whom they conjure up in their minds whilst in there hotel room. (c) The roguish dirt track bike event that they both get thrown out off due to their anarchistic antics. Or (d) The sordid escapades they both get up to one bloated evening whilst perusing Vega's night life.
Honestly, I would like to be a bit more clearer about what this drugged addled duo have done. Though, if truth be, I don't think that they know what is going either. Duke is more concerned about the events of
in the sixties,
whilst Gonzo is just besotted with a blonde television reporter (Cameron Diaz),
whom he saw in an elevator earlier that evening. San Francisco
However, the very next day, they do have a slight moment of clarity.
You see, after Duke has a strange run in with the law, he is told by Gonzo that he has to write an article relating to a police conference held in the area. But alas, before he can take part in this venture, he has to first help Gonzo ditch an underage girl called Lucy (Christina Ricci), whom he has had a liaison with prior to this assignment being assigned to him.
Still, I suppose that is why what next transpires appears somewhat fractured in the scheme of things. As recordings are played - waitresses are dismayed - plane trips are just about made - and a town is totally-totally dismayed.
'Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas' is a film that has to be experienced first hand, before you can truly appreciate what it is all about. Please note, I am not trying to justify my rather loose synopsis printed above. Instead, I am trying to convey the surrealist and charismatic undertones that this film has both in performance, style, and tone.
For example, where the story is concerned - there is no story - it is just a 'mad cap' adventure involving two drugged up clowns bumbling about all over the place, as if they were a couple of vagabonds destined for the streets. Moreover, where the style is concerned - this film is full of style - as visually, what is presented upon the screen, is a drug-addicts view of what they are supposed to be seeing.
Now I have to state for the record that all the players involved with this movie, really do aide with this mood to the nth degree. Director, Terry Gilliam, is just superb with his art direction and shooting style. Because the movie does feel like a very perverse perspective of the real world. Whereas the principle actors, Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro, likewise, really put on a show where their characters are concerned. Their mannered acting and over the top antics does suit Terry's style to the tea. Also, a great shout out should go to Ellen Barkin - because her single scene in 'Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas' is a stand out scene to me, and really conceptualizes this movie in realistic terms.
Oh! And let's not forget the facts, huh? (1) This film was based by on a book by Hunter S. Thompson, who had a small cameo in the Airplane show. (2) Dr Gonzo was based on an old friend of Hunter's, Oscar Zeta Acosta, who was believed to have drowned in 1974. (3) At one time this film was going to be adapted into an animation by filmmaker, Ralph Baksi. But Hunter's girlfriend [who has the screen writes] wanted a live action movie instead. (4) At various stages of development, numerous actors were supposed to play Duke and Gonzo respectively. Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando. Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi . And John Malkovitch and John Cusak too. (5) Hunter shaved Johnny Depp's head for this film. Hunter gave Johnny Depp his clothes to wear for this film. And Hunter spent four months with Johnny Depp for this film as well. All so Johnny could get into his role more symbiotically. (6) The Circus Casino with the 'Merry-Go-Round' bar, was based om an actual Casino in Vegas. But refused to be in this movie. (7) Terry Gilliam took over as director in this film when previous director, Alex Cox, left due to creative differences with Hunter. (8) In the scene in which Duke is tripping on adrenochrome, he mutters, "La llama es un quadrupedo" - this is a quote from a Llama sketch in Monty Pythons Flying Circus. And (9) In the 'Debbie Reynolds' riot scene, Debbie's daughter, Carrie Fishers, is supposed to be playing her Mother in the background.
Phew! I read a lot don't I? Still, I suppose in a strange way, these facts complements this film overall. 'Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas' is the type of a movie that is of the acquired taste, and should only be experienced if you are fighting fit and not off of your head's like the characters in this piece. Also, on a certain level, this movie is like an art-house movie. With a pithy commentary aided rather bodacious with a visual script. Here, check this out to see what I mean...
Great film - surrealist in tone.
THE RATING: A