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Hunter S. Thompson

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Title: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Directed by:
Terry Gilliam
Written by: Terry Gilliam, Tony Grisoni, Alex Cox, Tod Davies
Year: 1998

My choice of films and books are heavily based on two things: previous experiences of the people behind the product, and recommendations. Before actually watching Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, it had been recommended to me at least twenty times by people whose taste I respect. Such a film risks being spoiled by too high hopes, but I am glad to tell you that this was not the case of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Instead, it turned out to be a marvelously directed and performed tour de force of a bizarre visit to Las Vegas, based on Hunter S. Thompson’s journey to the city together with attourney Oscar Zeta Acosta. Surrealism and drug-induced hallucinations permeates almost every scene, but everything is neatly held together into some sort of comprehensiveness by the narrator.

To my mind, Johnny Depp alone makes this film worthwhile. He is absolutely brilliant as Raoul Duke and it would have been a pleasure to watch even if there was nothing else of interest. According to the article on Wikipedia, he spent a tremendous amount of time preparing for the role.

A film like this does not lend itself easily to conclusive statements, so I will not even try. Instead, I would like to recommend it, albeit with a word of warning. If you are used to disliking films because they are weird or full of drugs, please stay away. Otherwise, go ahead and enjoy yourself.

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