Radford glides through the essentials as known, language is the top level of consciousness and must be rigidly conterminate with the party mind, beneath that is the abstract real, unexpurgated here as the orgasm.
It is to amativeness he applies himself in the principal structure of the screenplay. The regime is absurd and counterproductive, there is a brief flurry of activity put down by crude means, all maunders on.
The great invention remains the personified opposition, faux to the core, but there is the moveable feast of war without end accompanied by Muldowney’s great hymn on residues of British composition, gorgeous as pink meat at the canteen (and since the film’s subject is the assassination of Smith’s mind, a little echo of The Man Who Knew Too Much).
John Hurt touchingly develops the character through reflection and pasteovers, Suzanna Hamilton is just the ticket, Richard Burton as O’Brien draws the line, Cyril Cusack is the face of the gag.
All this is distinct from the straightforward dramatic exposition of Cartier’s invaluable BBC production, as well as Anderson’s uncomprehended Hollywood film.
Radford’s own cut manages to omit Virgin’s Eurhythmics but retains the credit. The small detailed seams and scenes are like the calm river that goes upstream over pebbles, imperceptibly. “Sorrow and love” are the main notes, sorrow everywhere (and not Cartier’s harrowing anguish so much), love for the logical inconsistency of a Big Brother sans any Confucian idea of a ménage.
Neruda at bay as Communist and love poet, explicated in the mirror of the title character, struck dumb with admiration of the local beauty and not voting for Di Cosimo.