LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Westworld
In the early 1970s, many people were becoming concerned about want they felt was the beginning of our over-dependence on technology. What they didn't realize was that America had really begun that dependency in the 1930s, when more people started moving off the farms and into cities.
Westworld is a film that is concerned with this fear of dependency. Westworld is part of a huge amusement park called Delos. At Delos, for $1,000 per day, guests can do whatever they want -- in Westworld, Medievalworld, or Romanworld. Delos is for adults, where morals are relaxed in terms of promiscuity, and in lawlessness. Delos promises that you can't get hurt, and that "nothing can go wrong." I can't help but think that the screenwriter was thinking about what would happen if the robots on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland were to break free of their anchors and start looting and pillaging for real.
The trouble with Delos, is that it's a "1.0" product. All of the technicians keep fooling themselves by continuously telling each other that nothing can go wrong. Westworld correctly points out to us what does happen when we do become overly dependent on technology, where no back-up systems or failsafes exist. In the film, something does go wrong, and all of the robot entertainers start killing the guests. The technicians kill the power to the resort, only then to realize that each robot has a six- to 12-hour battery.
As a film, Westworld is slow by today's standards. It's actually a little hard to watch on tape if there are any distractions going on in the house. In a movie theater where distractions are at a minimum, it was very good. But then, when I saw this in the theater, it was 1973, and this was a fast-paced film.
Westworld also has the photographic feel of a TV movie. The film has the normal production values of a TV film, which are far below that of a feature film. Now high production values are not a requirement of a movie for it to get a point across, but we tend to have certain expectations that are different for TV and feature film.