"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas": Review.

Essay by Silver420University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2005

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"We were somewhere around Barstow, at the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold." So begins Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo's drug-filled journey in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" The film, directed by Terry Gilliam and edited by Lesley Walker, is a two hour long drug trip full of hallucinations and "bad craziness." Through the creative use of sound, specifically sound effects, out of sync dialogue, the mixing of the sound, and music, the filmmakers make the movie exciting and the drug trips authentic.

Throughout the movie, the main character, Raoul Duke, mixes his dialogue with narration. This blending of dialogue and narration has a couple uses. First, it conveys Duke's many insightful and indecent thoughts to the viewer. More importantly, the dialogue smoothes transitions between the present tense, and his flashbacks.

As Duke is explaining the origin of his assignment to a bewildered hitchhiker, he flashes back.

The sequence is brought back to the present as he tells the hitchhiker in narration that his assignment is, "...A gross physical salute to the possibilities of life in this country--but only for those with true grit." The film then cuts back to Duke in the car, relating to the hitchhiker, "And we are chock full of that man!"

Another technique that the filmmakers use to further the viewers feeling that they, along with the characters on screen, are under the influence of drugs is to manipulate the levels of different parts of the sound. The filmmakers achieve this effect by changing the levels at which particular conversations are played.

Duke and Dr. Gonzo, after checking into the Mint Hotel, go to the bar for a few drinks. Duke's acid trip takes hold and he comments that he "can't concentrate." The viewer also feels...