- By RICH ANDREW
- Photo By Michael Gibson/HBO
Based on the novel by Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 is HBO’s latest show about to strike a chord — and a match. Aptly titled, 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which book paper catches fire. Bradbury wrote this novel at the time of McCarthyism when he feared there could be a gross possibility of book burning in the United States — or worse, nuclear warfare. And today, against the rumbling of a second Cold War, this groundbreaking narrative persists as a cautionary tale to what might happen when democratic ideals come under threat of an authoritarian regime.
HBO’s dystopian allegory follows the firemen of the future who burn books in order to shield society’s impressionable children from the dangers of knowledge. Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) is Guy Montag, one such fireman who together with his boss Beatty, played by Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water), brandishes the power of fire to make all men equal. Sofia Boutella (Atomic Blonde) is perfect as Clarisse McClellan, a free spirit whose free thinking not only subverts Montag’s brainwashing but kindles a fervor inside him to join the resistance.
Writer-director Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) helms this daunting adaptation with a mindfulness sure to draw some frightening parallels within today’s politically charged arena. And if this show is to be any example, if we don’t take action soon, it may all go up in flames.
“Fahrenheit 451” premieres on May 19th.