THX 1138 is about a man named THX 1138 lives in an environment that can best be described as a police state. THX 1138 has a roommate named LUX who is madly in love with him. The two roommates share a love for each other and have a night of sex and are quickly discovered by the police. LUX doesn’t have a job within the compound. THX 1138 has a job as a mechanic in the compound where he repairs androids so he is useful to the compound. At some point in the film THX 1138 has a mental crisis where he has to decide what he truly wants in life. Does THX want to live a life outside of his environment with LUX or is he content with the way his life is currently running?
THX 1138 is George Lucas’s first film and for me his finest creation. He wrote this film with Walter Munch and it succeeds because for the most part this is a minimalist picture that relies on the audience forming opinions for themselves about the characters and events which allows them to shape what they see more than any other sci-fi picture I have seen in some time. Robert Duvall plays THX as an everyman who stresses about life and his job and doesn’t understand the decisions his government makes. In every scene in small ways you can see him slowly breaking and wanting freedom for himself from his environment but not knowing how to achieve it. THX 1138 goes on a journey to find himself and build a life outside of what he knows. The cinematography on this film is so unique that it really creates a world and an aesthetic of realism that you don’t see in sci-fi. The white backgrounds prove to both be claustrophobic and an endless desert at the same time. I think that the environment in which THX lives is a cage but I love watching him explore its depths and crevices. The journey reminds me of how Neo wants to be free from the life he lives as a hacker in The Matrix. This film makes for a very entertaining and fascinating viewing and is very well paced despite being a bit slow in the beginning.
If you consider yourself someone who loves sci-fi or futuristic movies that speak about humanity this movie is for you. I think casual viewers of film might find THX-1138 to be boring and slowly paced but I would recommend that it be seen as a rental. I think this is George Lucas’s finest work and rate it as a Cinematic Masterpiece.