Fist of all, as far as the comparison to Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (1998) goes, these films are completely different beasts. Fear & Loathing is a adaptation of a fictional work based on real events. Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro are playing Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo, not Hunter S. Thompson and Oscar Zeta Acosta. They are playing caricatures of real people, indirect representations funneled through HST's imagination and exaggeration. Where The Buffalo Roam is more based in reality. Bill Murray is directly playing Hunter S. Thompson as he writes his writings, Johnny Depp played a character from his writings, there is a massive difference. And as such, in my opinion, both films succeed brilliantly. Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas is a visually dazzling, imaginative, cinematic adaptation of HST's novel and Where The Buffalo Roam is a quirky, splendidly fun quasi-biographical journey and pure snapshot of life.
Bill Murray is fantastic in this film. His portrayal of HST is taken from life, more realistic, more from the man rather than from his text or the legend of HST. The whole film itself, mainly because of Murray's characterization and the realistic structured style of the abrupt interconnected randomness of everyday life, is infused with a undying sense of fun and love for words, imagination, writing, and the whole creative process, which seems to me to get more to the core of HST as a man than the various vignettes of Fear & Loathing.
Where The Buffalo Roam is wildly entertaining, frenziedly hilarious, and immeasurably fun. But when the general viewing audience, who presumably do not have a true passion for HST and his works, views both films and are given the choice between the legend and the man, they more often choose the legend, which is usually the trend in history.
Whereas Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas has a romance for the stories and the myth, Where The Buffalo has a romance for the man and the process, and both have it for his personal style, politics and priorities.
Semi-biographical film based on the experiences of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
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