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  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is the first and as far as I can tell, the only completed production of "Heart of Darkness" ever released. Prior to starting on "Citizen Kane," Orson Welles shot some test footage for a version of "Heart of Darkness" that was to be filmed entirely in what would now be called "POV", where we would see everything from the point of view of the main character Charlie Marlow; he would be seen only fleetingly in mirrors, windows, water, etc. The film was never made. The "POV" technique was used, not too successfully, in 1947 in "The Lady in the Lake," with Robert Montgomery starring as Philip Marlowe. Presumably, the coincidence of the two "Marlow(e)" characters is just that. Of course, Francis Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" was based on "Heart of Darkness."

    The short novel "Heart of Darkness" by the Polish-born British writer Joseph Conrad, first serialized in a British literary magazine in 1899, features one of his favorite alter egos, ship captain Charlie Marlow, who also narrates the short story "Youth" and indirectly tells the story of "Lord Jim." Marlow, temporarily out of work, decides to take a job captaining a river boat for a Belgian company involved in the brutal exploitation of the resources of King Leopold II's personal fiefdom, the cruelly misnamed Congo Free State. Marlow travels from London to Brussels, signs on with the company, and is told that his mission is to take a boat up the Congo River to a far inland station headed by one of the company's most productive agents in the colony, a German named Kurtz. Shipments of ivory, latex (for the production of rubber) and other products from Kurtz's station have ceased, and no word has come downriver from Kurtz for some time. There are rumors that he has "gone native." Marlow is to investigate, take any necessary action, and make a report on his return. He takes passage down the West African coast to the mouth of the Congo, is delayed for weeks while he is forced to repair his boat at the company station on the coast, and finally sets out upriver to find Kurtz's station. The river, the heat, the vegetation, the wildlife, the insects, the people, all take their toll on his endurance, his imagination, and his mental resources. He finds Kurtz ill, half-mad, and close to death. The final encounter and the death of Kurtz are almost an anticlimax, especially since Conrad is so obscure about what actually happens that we are left to puzzle it out for ourselves. This is a novel where you close the book vaguely dissatisfied with the ending but nevertheless treasuring the story for its amazing atmospherics.

    This "Heart of Darkness" was filmed with Guyana in Central America standing in for West Africa. It is best where the novel is at its greatest disadvantage: Actually showing us First World urbanites what a boat trip up a tropical river would look like. But the rest of the film was forgettable. Tim Roth does his best as Marlow, but so much about the plot, characterizations, and character relationships has been altered beyond recognition that you wonder why they bothered. If the aim was to make Conrad's story for the screen, why didn't they leave it alone? It's unreasonable to expect that no compromises will be made when a book is made into a movie, but so many changes were made that to me had no cinematic justification that you wonder whether we are simply dealing with incompetent screenwriters and cinematographers. Most disappointing of all was John Malkovich as Kurtz. He was completely miscast and simply flubs the role. Everything about him is wrong: His looks, his acting style, his voice, his accent, everything. A vastly better choice would have been someone like Bruno Ganz (unlike Malkovich, an actual German, like the character).

    This is a very disappointing production and I would recommend it only after you've read the book if you want to depend on more than your imagination to get a visual picture of a boat trip up the Congo River circa 1900.
  • The problem with the film is quite simply this, Conrad's prose is powerfully verbose and cannot be adapted to a movie. Marlow's narration in the novella captivates you from the first sentence and you only "see" what Conrad writes about. In movie, it's different, you see the visual, but the description and reflection that really makes the novel, is frightfully missing. But as far as an unadaptable book has been adapted, it is of good standard. There are the exact same scenes, which are pinpointed quite geniously, but they never have the same affect as in the novel. The plot in the movie has been enhanced, and it works very well to make it more interesting. The references to Ancient Egypt were thoughtfully inserted. My tip, read the book, and keep it that way, there are better movies out there.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Deep in the heart of Africa lives one of the most profitable and important ivory traders, Mr. Kurtz. Everyone in the Central Station sees him as an emissary and a prodigy, but Marlow sees him as a heartless and cruel person, the truth behind Kurtz. To me, Kurtz is the sole symbol of the darkness of Africa. In the movie, he calls to his pet monkey to come over to him and then snaps his neck and kills it! But also in the movie, it says that Kurtz hasn't been sending any ivory in to the central station, letting people in the central station to wonder, "has Kurtz gone crazy?' But the book states that Kurtz is sending in more ivory than everyone else combined. Marlow is determined to meet Kurtz and witness what is so amazing about him that everyone else sees. He travels down the Congo River on a steamboat with his helmsman, Mfumu. All Marlow could think about was the flash backs of the darkness of Africa that e had witnessed throughout the movie. I don't want to spoil the ending, so I won't. The Russian (harlequin) that Marlow meets at the inner station seems to have lost him mind and his tone of voice is really creepy to me. He was always laughing like a maniac! But Marlow does meet Kurtz's African mistress and catches glimpses of Kurtz's "Intended" that he had painted, and each one had significance. The movie was okay, but it would have been hard to understand had I not read the book first, and even then the book and the movie were different in many ways. If you choose to watch this movie, I suggest you read the book first so that you can grasp the movie and its characters.
  • After seeing the film version of Heart Of Darkness, I feel as if I wasted 100 minutes of my life. Though the book was not my favorite, I was very disappointed to see how poorly Nicolas Roeg portrayed the story. Despite the fact that he left out many bits of important information, the cast just did not seem to fit their roles and the whole film seemed vastly emotionless. The book depicts vivid scenery and detail that are completely disregarded in the movie.

    You'd think a director would be able to fit 76 pages of a book into a film of at least an hour and a half. The differences completely changed the story for me. For example, when the character of Kurtz's fiancée is nonchalant to the fact that Kurtz has died, it completely modifies the ending the book had given. Not to mention the sets and scenery used in the film were not nearly as beautiful as they were described. It sincerely feels as if Roeg was filming another story with references from Heart Of Darkness embedded in it.

    If you watch the movie without knowing the title or expecting it to be anything like Joseph Conrad's tale, you may find it good. Though I thought the camera work was poor and the cast unfitting, it is a captivating story all the same. However, if you are looking for a good movie version of the famous classic story, don't look for it in Roeg's film.
  • A very courageous attempt to bring one of the most intricate books of literature to the screen. The story manages to get most of Conrad's basic messages across and the acting is superb. The liberties taken by the script often deepen the meaning and do seldom distort it. Compliments to writer and director.
  • Overall, the movie "Heart of Darkness" was pitiful compared to the book. Anyone who has ever read the book and had a sufficient understanding of it would be able to see the countless obvious flaws. There is an immeasurable difference between the two. It seems to me that the director was walking into a losing battle. I couldn't imagine that someone would take on the monstrous task of recreating "Heart of Darkness." The immense detail and magic of the story would be impossible to justly interpret. Conrad's story had so many layers and so much depth that it would seem pointless to try to make a visual interpretation.

    First, capturing the details of the story is unattainable. The colossal fine points created by Joseph Conrad cannot be rightfully recreated through film. Marlow's feelings and emotions cannot be equally construed in the movie. If you have taken on the enormous task of tackling Conrad's work then, you know as well as I that Conrad only wrote half the story. The additional half is a series of connections made by the reader. You, as the reader are required to be capable of inferring and connecting Joseph Conrad's ideas. As a result, several crucial details are absent in the movie.

    Also, although the movie was an adequate length, the film seemed short. It seemed that Conrad was able to pack many more details into 75 pages than the movie could pack in an hour and a half. The speed of the movie kept the viewer from getting to know the characters. Marlow was much more of a stranger. The viewpoint of the book puts you into Marlow's shoes. However, in the movie, you're almost watching Marlow from a distance. I began to think that the director was trying to utilize the same "read between the lines" method as Conrad did. However, the connections were weak. I know that if I had not read the book then, I would, in no way, be able to begin to understand the depth of the situation and the characters.

    Finally, Kurtz also seemed to be interpreted incorrectly. His role was short and the details weren't all included. It was impossible to comprehend the true Kurtz in the length of time he was shown. An important detail in the book was that Kurtz had become a god to the Africans. I didn't think that significant detail was defined. Also, in the book, Kurtz represented a soulless being. He had died inside long ago. I believe the director comprehended this detail. However, instead of recreating it, he just had Kurtz mope around and mumble everything. Moreover, it seemed like the director attempted to make Kurtz seem mysterious, however, instead, he seemed entirely unidentified.

    Altogether, this movie reminded me of a teenager cramming to finish a science project, due the next day. It appeared to have been crafted effortlessly and in hardly any time. The characters were alienated, crucial details were left out, and, overall, the central plot was lost in translation.
  • gondwana6 September 2002
    I loved the movie and I certainly loved the book, but I find Coppola's 'Apocalypse Now' as an allegory far more touching, involving and more beautiful. Mainly, 'Heart of Darkness'(TV) matches nor Roths intensity, nor Malkovichs presence. Which does not mean it isn't a tremendous attempt to adapt Conrads novel.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    To be honest, I've never been to the Congo or even Africa, and after watching the made for television movie Heart of Darkness, I do not think I'd want to. The movie completely shames the book to the highest level possible. Though the book was not the best I have read, after watching the movie, I seemed to appreciate the book a hundred times more. Nicolas Roeg, the director of the movie, did a horrible job portraying Joseph Conrad's novella into a movie. I give Roeg some credit for trying to attempt the impossible by making the book into a movie, but this may not have been the job for him. The movie was unsuccessful to express any part of the novella other than the basics of the plot. The set and scenery also lacked the beauty Conrad portrayed of Africa in the book. In the book Marlow had seen so many great wonders, but in the movie you did not get that same experience. No, I'm not blaming everything on the director; the acting in the film was just terrible. All of the actors were dull and uninteresting. Throughout the whole movie I felt as if the actors were not putting forth any emotions, as if they were reading from the script the entire time. Tim Roth, who plays Marlow, did not portray Marlow's sense of adventure for his journey into the Congo well. Marlow's journey to find Kurtz was supposed to venturesome, but I didn't experience that in the movie. I would not recommend watching this movie, especially if you have read the book already. It does not come close to doing justice for Joseph Conrad's novella. Conrad's words capture the reader and take them on the journey with Marlow, on his quest to find Mr. Kurtz, where as the film did not. A great novella, but a very poor film. Heart of Darkness, the movie, is based on the book written by Joseph Conrad also called Heart of Darkness.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    For those who have not yet read the book, I wouldn't recommend the movie. I imagine that if I had not read the book first, the movie would have appeared to me as dull, confusing, and ultimately pointless. The genius use of literary and rhetorical elements are almost completely lost in the movie. To those who have read and enjoyed the book, and also wish to see the film, then I would say to go ahead. But without the interest of seeing the movie, I don't think it necessary to take the time. In my opinion, the movie was still a bit dull, even having read the book. The movie was okay overall, but a few aspects deviated from the novel and were changed just enough such as the fact that Marlow's loyalty to Kurtz pretty much made no sense, being that in the film they did not meet until Marlow found Kurtz sick and going insane in the African jungle. You'd think that they could fit in all details and scenes in a film adapted from a book with only 74 pages. Kurtz's fiancée at the end is emotionless, as is the movie overall. It lost all of the emotion and intrigue that captivates readers of the novel. I'd suggest just sticking to the book, especially if you are expecting some great adaption of the book.
  • After reading the book, Heart of Darkness, the movie did not do it justice. The movie puts the book to shame and anyone who has not experienced the book would frown upon the story and plot because it was portrayed so poorly by the movie. In the film, the characters and set were just some of the let downs that occurred in the movie. The director left out so many important and interesting aspects of the book that made it one of the best literary works ever made.

    Of course any book is better than the movie but these weren't even comparable. Joseph Conrad as a writer was brilliant in vocabulary and the cleverness of the written word. The movie doesn't even start to show any of this. Some of the very important and influential scenes from the book were completely left out, like how Kurtz was not in the boat when he died. Also when Marlow went to deliver the news to Kurtz's intended, she reacted differently in the movie, rather than the book. Another major difference was that Marlow saw the picture of the lady that was blindfolded at the end of the movie, not at the beginning, like the book. This was influential on how the audience perceived Marlow, and the movie totally messed that up.

    The book was so fine tuned on what every location looked like, but the scenery in the movie was a let down. There was a bunch of cheesy fake backgrounds and to compliment, a bunch of bad actors to go along with it. There was one exception to the awful actors and that would be Isaach De Bankolé, who played Mfumu. His character was depicted the best. Though the movie wasn't that great, I still would recommend it ONLY if you have read and understood the book very well. That way, you can see what the differences are in the movie and book and contemplate them. If you have not read the book, I do not recommend the movie because it is a boring, lifeless mess. I loved the book, so you should definitely read it and enjoy it.
  • Heart of Darkness, directed by Nicolas Roeg, is an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's tale of ivory hunting in the African jungle. Heart of Darkness was a made for T.V. film, airing on March 13, 1994 on TNT (Turner Network Television). Auteur theorists analyzing previous Roeg films may agree that this T.V. adaptation does not hold the same attributes. One may argue that it was made for television, which would place guidelines on how much Roeg could express his autuerist style. Others may believe that Roeg' style is still at work within Heart of Darkness, even though it follows the Hollywood narrative. This film analysis will argue the Roeg elements are still at work. The film begins with extreme close ups of an elephants body. Next we see Marlow (Tim Roth) explaining his expedition of the African Jungle to a group of rich British men. From there, the film cuts to a large library or museum where we see two women in black, almost identical, sitting in the front entrance of an office. Marlow, in a voice over, begins to become uneasy with the women's presence. He makes comments to himself regarding a conspiracy and the women were warning him of something. If one has seen Don't Look Now (1973) they can make a predisposition toward the two women in black and the psychic sisters. Marlow had ambiguities toward the two women, just as John (Donald Sutherland) had toward the sisters, which predicted his outcome (death). Marlow on the other hand assumed danger from the two women and danger is exactly what he found in the Congo. As the film continues we see an aborigine standing outside of a window looking in at Marlow. We later find out that he committed suicide or was speared in the chest by an unruly army headed by Kurtz (John Malkovich). In Walkabout (1971) we see the young aborigine looking into the house at the white girl. In both films the aborigine's are looking into the white man's world. Unfortunately they find the white man's world can be destructive and greedy, as seen in the Kurtz controlled outlandish army. They steal young boys and barter them for supplies. Three young boys are abducted from the camp site, one boy is killed and the others are returned for supplies.

    Previous to the abduction, we see random shots of a boy with an ivory necklace. We later see the necklace lying near where the boy had been sleeping. Immediately following the abduction is a dream sequence which Marlow sees a dead elephant, stripped of its' tusks, lying alongside a trail. Maggots are seen as the camera moves in for a close up. Juxtaposed with the elephant are the identical women and finally a claw tool. This sequence expresses the dangers associated with the Congo, not only on the explorers but aborigines and animals. These sequences are Roegian for its' underlying themes. What do two women, an elephant and a claw have to do with a journey in the Congo? The elephant is clearly associated with ivory and greed. The women mean a clear and present danger in the Congo. The claw depicts violence and is later seen sitting in Kurtz's hut. In one shot we see Mfumu looking into the water where it appears blood is floating on the surface, foreshadowing his own death. After he is speared Marlow throws his body overboard and blood floats atop the surface again. Roeg does not hold back on the grotesqueness within Heart of Darkness. In one scene we see another explorer repeatedly kicking and striking a black man. After Mfumu is speared, Marlow pulls on the spear and blood explodes from the chest. Surprisingly T.V. allowed this scene as well as a few others. Moments later Marlow and his guides enter Kurtz's village where there is a young boy covered in blood and tied to a tree. There are also boys' heads on stakes and on branches in trees. More boys are taken from the crew and traded, and one is killed. Kurtz's makes his appearance in the final 20 minutes of the film. He appears to be a god to the aborigine army. He is quite crazy and slowly dies away in a most unusual and unauthentic way. He is buried in an upright position and is draped in white cloth. There appears to be some sort of metal attachments from his upper body to his arms to keep them out in front of him. I am not sure what Roeg was getting at with this, but it may have to do with Kurtz being crazy and having instilled his own ideologies to the army. There is one theme in which is unusual. There is an aborigine woman that closely resembles Kurtz's white wife. The black beauty is framed with Kurtz's wife's painting. The black beauty appears to have some sort of skin ailment or body paint. Maybe Kurtz has put her up to painting or brandishing herself to slightly resemble his wife back in Britain. At the end of the film Marlow approaches the widow and tells her of Kurtz's last moments. This scene seems so out of place. The black and white woman reflecting each other in some sort of weird African fantasy makes sense, but Marlow actually going to see the widow has no real premise. It does appear Roeg intentionally mirrored Kurtz's loves, but the widow scene seemed so hurried. That did not at all seem Roegish. Finally the end montage near Kurtz's death is the most Roegistic style in the whole film. Roeg compiles every theme into about one minute of juxtaposed images containing Mfumu's death and the spear exiting his chest in slow motion. The elephant's rotting carcass, the two women being seen again, the ivory necklace and young boys are also shown again. Random shots of Kurtz's masked army are installed. The black and white women are repeated. Heart of Darkness is much so a Roeg film only with a T.V. limit.
  • The movie Heart of Darkness is an insult to the book by Joseph Conrad! To be quite honest the movie made me want to fall asleep. On the other hand, the book was definitely extraordinary. I feel that the movie left out several key elements and missed some of the main points from the book. In addition, the actors were boring and lacked originality and enthusiasm.

    The book, while not an adventure story or easy to understand, is full of hidden meaning and interesting twists in the plot. The book, though very confusing and complex, is astonishing. When you do finally understand it, you feel as if you have actually learned something. The novella, or short story, had several key ideas like futility and craziness, which the movie left out. In addition, several key scenes were changed, which in return affected the entire plot. Many of the scenes seemed to be very "choppy", in the sense that they did not fit together. In summary, the movie seemed to be a bad interpretation of the book.

    I would only recommend watching this movie if you cannot picture or understand the book, but otherwise I would skip this one. It was dreadful, and in complete disarray. If you have never read the book then, definitely do not watch the movie because you need the basic information from the book to understand the movie. The movie was a horrible spin-off of an outstanding and detailed book.
  • Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, had a vivid sense of description that made this book astonishing. When reading this book I had every scene totally drawn out in my head and I knew what every character looked like. This book had many pieces and when I finished reading this book it seemed as the puzzle had been completed. After I finished reading Heat of Darkness, I watched the movie, which was a mistake. The movie cut out so many substantial parts. For example, in the novel Marlow waited a very long time for the rivets to come for him to fix his boat. This was a big source of futility. In the movie that part was just left out. The movie added more parts that were useless and made no sense. For example, when Kurtz was talking to Marlow at the end of the book and Kurtz snapped the monkey's neck and killed him. What purpose did that scene have, other than to make the audience feel sorry for the monkey? It's as if the script writer didn't even read the whole book and just put the parts that he read in the movie. If I had not read the novel before I had watched the movie I would have been thoroughly confused. The book was amazing and it is truly a classic in American Literature, but the movie could have defiantly been nominated for the worst picture in the Razzie Awards.
  • I think i was one of the people who found this another one of roth's pearls. his performance, as awarded, was stunning. the story which was told so eloquently by Francis ford Coppola 25 years earlier, really unfolds gradually and leaves room for the characters to develop. Roeg proves again it doesn't have to be a war-setting to be interressting. In a most wonderful location lies a story of contrast. Ruthlessnes and beauty go hand in hand, while loneliness should become your best friend. It shows a more sinister past of a small golden age kingdom which lands on a coast full of wealth for a 1st world country, if u send the right men. All in all a beautiful directed film from Nicola's roeg wih a sublime cast.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had read the book Heart of Darkness and I loved the book. The book was intriguing and cleverly worded. I figured it would be hard to make a movie out of the book because of all the flash backs that Marlow would have while he was telling the story of Kurtz and his adventures in Africa. I didn't expect too much out of the movie, but it was better then I expected. People who say it was a crappy movie and it didn't reflect the book are ignorant and do not realize the immense effort it would take to make a movie out of Heart of Darkness. You would have to read the book to appreciate the movie. The director cut out and changed some of the events in the movie because the people who haven't read the book wouldn't understand the significance of some of the scenes. I didn't think the movie was amazing but it was the best representation of the book that someone could make. No one else has made a heart of darkness movie because it takes a lot of effort and it is extremely hard to make a movie that would be exactly like the book. I do admit that they should have stayed true to some of the scenes in the book, like when you are supposed to see the picture of the woman that's blind folded and holding the torch in the beginning, the movie has Marlow see that painting in the ending instead of the beginning. Also, they should have had the one of the women who were knitting the palls escort Marlow in the Assistant of Companies office like in the book, instead of Marlow just walking into the office. In the book when Nafumu (The Helmsman) died, it never said what they did to the body and I assumed the other cannibals ate him, I like how in the movie Marlow throws him off the boat in the water so the cannibals on the boat can't eat him. I also liked how the director made sure that the audience understood that Kurtz was an evil man by showing him breaking the monkey's neck. That scene was not in the book but if the director hadn't of thrown that scene in the movie then the audience wouldn't have perceived Kurtz as an evil man. I have concluded that the movie was okay. I have mixed feeling about it but I think people would at least appreciate the movie, but only if they read the book first. I do recommend the movie to people who have already read the book.
  • Joseph Conrad's excellent short novel "Heart of Darkness" serves as the basis for a film that has certain strengths, although it should be better than it is. The novel is a frame story: An unnamed narrator recounts Marlow's description of his long journey up the Congo River to locate an ivory trader named Kurtz.

    Marlow tells the story to several men aboard "a cruising yawl" near London. His first comment about London--"And this too has been one of the dark places of the world"--sets the tone for the remainder of the novel. By its end, the unnamed narrator, who has never seen the Congo and who is upset by Marlow's tale, finds himself looking "into the heart of an immense darkness."

    Among memorable episodes in the film are the brief depiction of Brussels, which Marlow in the novel calls "The Sepulchral City"; "The Grove of Death," which shows starving Africans who have been abused by greedy white explorers; Mfumo's relationship with Marlow; Marlow's encounter with Kurtz; the latter's treatment of his pet monkey; Marlow's visit to "The Intended"; and the final horrors of Kurtz's life. If you watch the setting around Kurtz's cabin, you'll be able to imagine what "the horrors" are.
  • The movie version of Heart of Darkness has its similarities and differences to the novel. It lacks much of the information that Joseph Conrad wrote about, but still displays the story line decently. Because of this, many people did not enjoy the movie. I agree, but I believe it would be too difficult to make a movie-replica of that sort.

    The book clearly makes you imagine the scenery and action as seen through Joseph Conrad's eyes. Life in Africa was not an easy picture to paint, but this clever author used his vast vocabulary and imagery skills to describe to readers his journey through the real "Heart of Darkness." The movie, however, had poorly-made backdrops and cheap scenery to act with. I feel that this was plenty enough to loose the attention of many viewers, including me. However, I defend them to say that it would be far too hard to find the place Conrad had once adventured through. Page after page was the story of his trip, but the movie only had about two hours to try and even begin to explain what he went through.

    Personally, I would recommend watching the movie IF and ONLY if you have read and have a basic understanding of the novel. My expectations were not met, but I would consider giving it a try. Even though the movie was only about a quarter accurate, the director, alongside the actors, had plenty of good intentions while making this movie.
  • Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness is a dark, profound, and lasting novel that portrays the futility and irony taking place in Africa. If you are looking for a great book to read over the weekend this is not the book for you. Conrad holds nothing back when describing 19th century imperialism, but the novel is meaningless without giving it the reflection and consideration it deserves. If I read this novel looking for a great adventure story I would say that I wasted my time, but looking at in the perspective of explaining the futility of 19th century civilization, I would say this is one of the most significant novels I have ever read. Because of the fact that I read this novel in my English class, and we analyzed every page, I think I appreciated the book more than someone would who was just reading it for entertainment. I am not going to lie, this book was difficult and it challenges the reader to dig deep into this novel to find the true meaning. The movie on the other hand I found tiresome and boring. The movie, "Heart of Darkness" comes no where near giving the book justice. The movie left out many key parts that I consider important to get the true message of the story. If you are having difficulty understanding and visualizing the novel then the movie might be a good recourse but I would not recommend seeing the movie as an alternative to the novel or even a different perspective.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Heart of Darkness is a movie for those of us who can watch a movie with an open mind. You can't think about any other movie you have seen or you will miss the wonderful experience gained by watching this movie. The movie follows the basic story line of the novel written by Joseph Conrad, except a few added scenes that help to add insight to the meaning and life of each character. This is a movie about the tragic journey by Marlow (played by Tim Roth). Marlow travels down the Congo River to visit a well-known ivory trader in Africa (Kurtz, played by John Malkovich), who has stopped sending his ivory loads. Marlow encounters many tragic casualties, and ends up losing his newly gained friend. Kurtz is on the verge of death and won't let anyone help him out. Kurtz is a very self-absorbed man who refuses to see what is right in front of him, instead turns to the jungle for a life of murder and betrayal. Kurtz uses the men of the jungle to attack Marlow in attempt to prevent his arrival. His attempt fails and Marlow soon arrives. Upon arrival, Marlow begins to understand the life lived by Kurtz, and unlocks a deep mystery to the deep, mind-changing jungle that overwhelms Kurtz and drives him mad. Everywhere Marlow would travel, he would hear of Kurtz and his ivory, but nothing would prepare Marlow for the cold truth that has come to be Kurtz's life. Kurtz finally allows Marlow to return with half of his ivory, however along with Kurtz's death, Marlow realizes that nothing could make him take that ivory back. In the short time that Marlow accompanied Kurtz at his home, Marlow developed a deep hatred for Kurtz, and would not have any part of Kurtz with him, nor would he send it to anyone else. When the journey concludes, Marlow is changed. ' Africa changes people', and for Marlow, it changed him in a way no one could explain. This is a magnificent movie that grabs the viewer and keeps them interested. Once you see the movie you will understand just how amazing of a job the director has done. I give this movie a rating on 1-10, an 8 for its twists and thrills.
  • If you've ever heard the saying, "the book is always better than the movie," Heart of Darkness is no exception to the rule. I believe that it was much easier for me to comprehend the details of the novel over the movie because I read the book aloud with my English class. We discussed each paragraph in great detail so I grasped the concept pretty quickly. I couldn't really understand the plot as well while watching the movie. This may be because there were no discussions held in class, but I suppose it is also because I couldn't paint my own pictures in my mind of the events of the novel. If you're the type of person who believes in that well-known saying, then leave watching the Heart of Darkness movie off your to-do list.
  • Heart of Darkness (1993 TV Movie) was directed by Nicolas Roeg. It's based on the famous novel by Joseph Conrad. Tim Roth stars as Marlow, a young seaman who is hired to captain a steamboat up the Congo River into (then) The Belgian Congo.

    Roth is a competent actor and he makes us believe in Marlow. John Malkovich portrays Kurtz. Everything in the novel rotates around Kurtz, but we don't see Kurtz until late in the novel. In reality, Roth is the star, and Malkovich is playing a supporting role.

    Isaach De Bankolé depicts Mfumu, a relatively minor figure in Conrad's novel, but a more significant figure in the movie. He is an African worker with whom Marlow bonds.

    However, as many critics have pointed out, Conrad's novel is written about Europeans and it's meant for Europeans. It portrays a time when colonialism was painted over with a thin veneer of enlightenment. This enlightenment was barely present anywhere in colonial Africa. In the Belgian Congo, everyone there knew it was a total pretense.

    The movie would work somewhat better on the large screen, because some of the jungle views are breathtaking. However, we saw it on DVD, where it worked well enough.

    Heart of Darkness has a terrible IMDb rating of 5.7. The movie is well acted and well produced. All I can assume is that people don't like Conrad's novel. That's not director Roeg's fault, but he gets the blame. In addition, Conrad's novel is based on his meticulously crafted paragraphs. The plot of the novel isn't as important as are Conrad's words.

    Other than doing continual voiceover, there's no real way to bring Conrad's verbal genius to life. In movies, what you see is (literally) what you get. What we get is the story Conrad gave us, and apparently people don't like the story.

    I don't think Heart of Darkness is a great movie, but I think it's an excellent movie and rated it 8.
  • Heart of Darkness Movie Review

    As the saying goes, the film is never as good as the book. This most certainly applies to the movie Heart of Darkness. It is, however, understandable since the cast and crew attempted to represent one of the greatest novels in the English language in a movie. Heart of Darkness the book was a masterpiece in itself and that set expectations high for the movie from the very beginning. But after watching the movie it's safe to say that the movie failed to live up to those great expectations.

    The movie had a habit of doing strange screen flashes to random characters and objects. It was most likely an attempt at foreshadowing, however it just seemed out of place. There is an instance in which the movie flashed forward from a scene to a later one in which when Marlow sees a pair of claws in Kurtz's hut. However all it does is disrupt the continuity of the current scene and leave the audience confused by the out of place image that was shown. It seems that the director Nicholas Roeg tried to bring onto the big screen some of Conrad's exceptional foreshadowing from the novel. However this was not the end result.

    Another problem with the movie was the way in which elements from the book were brought into the movie. It was almost like Roeg tried to use the book as a script. While it is important to stick to the book when trying to adapt it to the movie format, it's also important to realize the book is just that, a book. Things that make books great don't necessarily make movies great. Fancy and in-depth dialogue are perfect for novels, but often lose their value in movies. It felt as if Roeg tried to force lines onto some of the characters and this made what they had to say less interesting and less convincing. Along with dialogue, Conrad's phenomenal verbal irony from the book was also lost in the film adaptation. One of the cornerstones of the book came off in the movie as just another piece of boring dialogue. These failed attempts on bringing forth some of Conrad's prized jewels from the book all led the movie on a confusing path. It was possible to tell from the weird jungle noises and swaying camera that Roeg was trying to portray the eerie jungle from the book, however it wasn't convincing. And that is a common theme with this film. Everything Roeg takes right out of the book wasn't convincing, it all felt forced.

    Everything previously stated was bad, however they pale in comparison to this problem in the movie, the Russian. Once he said his first lines the movie immediately went from a decent attempt to a failed attempt. The Russian was crazy in the book, but he still provided useful information to Marlow and made a contribution to the story. The Russian in the movie only met the standard of being crazy. The audience wanted to do exactly what Marlow did, which was ignore him. There were two or three times in the movie when the Russian would say something to Marlow and he would just totally ignore him. And if the audience had ignored him, it wouldn't have made any difference. He contributed minimally to the story, failing to give the extensive exposition that the book version did. All of that aside, he just felt fake overall. Following the movies common theme, he failed to convince the audience he was real.

    The movie wasn't 100% a failure, one element it did pull off rather well was the setting. The jungle and the out posts did actually prove to be convincing. The setting and many of the props, like the boat, outposts and ivory, did a good job at making the story seem real. Overall the movie is unwatchable without having read the book first. That being said, it is possible to swallow the hour and a half long imitation if you had read the book first. It proves to be semi entertaining to draw parallels between the movie and novel and the props and set do help give a clearer image of parts of the story in some cases.
  • alcamofisher30 April 2015
    The novel, "The Heart of Darkness", consists of a very intricate storyline. However, this storyline was not portrayed to its fullest in the movie. It is a daunting task to try to recreate the ideas and imagery set forth in the novel, which is why I believe there shouldn't have been a movie made at all. Additionally, the reader can brainstorm multiple interpretations of the novel. This meaning that the director of the movie could have imagined a scene in the book completely differently than another reader.

    "The Heart of Darkness" film was considerably short seeing that it took my AP English 11 class to read and comprehend the novel in an entire months span. This proves the fact that all the ideas expressed in the story weren't fully captured in the movie. Especially when Marlow went to speak with Kurtz intended. It had so much emotion and importance in the novel whereas it had nothing to show for in the film.

    Overall, the movie was an uneventful, awful recreation of the book. I do not recommend this movie for any viewers. The movie will skew your own ideas and opinions made after the book. If a person did not read the book, I still do not recommend this movie because it will be a confusing bore.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Director Nicolas Roeg undertakes a major project when filming "Heart of Darkness," his version of the story from Joseph Conrad. The film is an accurate rendition of its namesake novel for the most part, but with a few differences. Although short in length, Conrad's work is considered one of the most complex books ever written, with flowing language and advanced vocabulary.. Conrad's version leaves the reader with a greater feeling of suspense, and has a more haunting atmosphere overall, compared to the film.

    The "Heart of Darkness" film felt to me like it was lacking emotion. For example, in one of the final scenes, Kurtz's intended, or fiancée, displays no anguish towards Kurtz's death and no excitement when hearing the German man's final words that Marlow makes up, but rather, the actress portraying the woman behaves calmly and the ending of the story is completely changed. Marlow is a character that loathes lying, and the film does not express this, therefore making the fact that he lies- to Kurtz's intended much less significant.

    Foreshadowing is evident in Conrad's novel, indicated subtly by the author's diction. Roeg's account seems to completely skip over any attempt of hinting at future events other than having an air of mystery on occasion. While the film does have a small degree of a haunting atmosphere to it, the novel leaves the viewer with a lot more to take away from it. I recommend reading the novel with excruciating detail to read between the lines and skipping the film completely to invest those one hundred minutes in a more worthwhile activity. However, if you truly wish to see it, pick up a copy of Conrad's original first.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Fitzgerald's adaptation of Joseph Conrad's book "Heart of Darkness" would be rated a 4/10 on my scale. My bias, because of the fact that I read the book, made me both hate and love the movie. The reasons I loved it is because, in its own crooked way, it tried to reenact the plot of the book .It did have some good material, like the sound guy for the movie really did a great job On the other hand, there were a lot of reasons why I hated it though. . In essence it was pretty horrible movie and would be a great movie for anyone who likes bad acting and finding huge accent mistakes.

    Bad acting was a component that I found to be a little peculiar. The reason it is peculiar is because Nicolas Reig(the director) was able to get John Malkovich to play Kurz. The movie should have been a hit just because it had John Malkovich in it but, some how they found a way to cast a bunch of horrible actors to offset how great of an actor Malkovich is. Malkovich did make some mistakes. Instead of him playing Kurz as a man with wisdom, I felt that Malkovich was a man drugged out on some trippy African plant.

    Please, do not misunderstand me, I think Tim Roth was great. In Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. For Fitzgerald's Heart of Darkness I just found myself questioning why Roth was chosen to play Marlow. He does not have a very interesting voice. I understand completely that Marlow went through these traumatic event that could make a person monotone when telling his story but, if Marlow is going to be the narrator do not cast a man that makes me want to fall asleep during the movie(I actually did fall asleep and had to watch a part over again). The thing I found most confusing is the issue of Kurz not having an accent. I cannot believe that the director allowed Malkovich to switch in and out of his accent. Kurz was supposed to be European but spoke in an American accent almost the whole movie. I completely understand that Malkovich is an American but he is an actor and actors are supposed to maintain the role of the character they are playing. Kurz not having an accent did annoy me but I will give credit where it is needed and admit that the African native characters were played by great actor. The native characters had good accents and wore things(accepts a few) that fit my perception of a real African native. The only confusing part of the movie was the end when the natives scoured every where but, that was a director fault and not the actors fault.

    The movie was bad but it was hard to watch it and think it was good when the book it is an adaptation of is such a great piece of literature. It has to be compared to a literary classic and most literary classics' movie adaptations ,including this one, are never a great(or even close to being as good) as the book it is an adaptation of. I feel that maybe if I had not read the book then I could have like the movie a little bit better but I did. Therefore, in my conclusion the movie was not that great.
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