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Harrison Bergeron

Year: 1995
Director: Bruce Pittman
Writer: Kurt Vonnegut
Cast: Sean Astin, Christopher Plummer, Eugene Levy, Hayden Christensen
Another strong idea that needs a bit more meat to translate to a feature film. It's also got TV movie written all over it (which it was).

Based on the premise that if the (oppressive) government makes everyone equally apathetic, pacific and at an accepted level of intelligence, nobody will feel any desire or jealousy of another and it'll mean the end of war.

So everyone has to wear these government-sanctioned head attachments that interfere with your brainwaves and make you stupid. We're introduced to a young man - Harrison (Astin) - who continually needs his turned up because of unacceptably high intelligence. Parents and teachers, you see, strive for their kids to be dumb and uncaring in this upside down world, and Harrison's case is treated with disappointed disdain the way we would treat a kid who isn't trying in school.

Increasingly frustrated with his continued intellectual success, he's taken from his family and introduced into the enclaves of the elite class. Led by a mentor (Plummer), they aren't restricted in thought and have access to the emotional privileges denied the rest of the population, but it's their responsibility to control the masses.

When Harrison can't live with it any more (seeing the hypocrisy of his seniors, falling in love etc), he turns against them and locks himself in a TV studio to broadcast forbidden material to the masses to wake them up, and it turns into a run of the mill thriller.

Cheesily acted and presented, a much better ideal than a movie.

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