Saturday, July 26, 2014

My review of movie--Dawn of Planet of the Apes--

Movie (script) review--

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

I saw this last week and was about to write about it, but I always have too much to do.

First off it is Excellent--5 out of 5 stars.

2.  The principal aim of all art is to establish empathy, make the audience feel what it feels like to be an ape, what it feels like to be a human at the last stages--the dawn of the apes, the sunset of homo sapiens.

This movie does this excellently.

3.  Me and the Apes. 

In Burma I had no good information, and like my mother I was a bit repulsed by monkeys.  The only monkeys I had seen were the ones in the badly kept Rangoon Zoo (for all that about Col. Hla Aung)--and we had heard only of the monkey kept as a pet by a British man, a Mr. Grant, if I remember rightly, my uncle's friend, who lived in Rangoon and liked animals.

But in America I went to more and better zoos, including the oldest one in Philadelphia and National Zoo in DC, part of the Smithsonian.

In Burma when the mistreated animals in the zoo died, they were just stuffed and taken across the street and put in the Natural History Museum.

(I can still remember "the gap toothed one" making faces at me because I drove my Mini Minor and took my sons and nephews to the Museum.  What's wrong with that?  Children should go to such places, it is educational.)

In America also I read more.

So I did not like it when someone (Burmese) said to me, "So, teacher, you hold by the theory that men are descended from apes."

That was not strictly correct.

We and the apes are descended from the same ancestor/s.

We all look like apes and chimpanzees still have 99% (?) of our genes.

In the DC zoo in the 90s, I saw apes being taught language with simple sentences.  I think it was an orangutan working on a computer screen with the researcher.

--

I saw the first movie Planet of the Apes (staring Charlton Heston of NRA fame or infamy)--in Warsaw, Poland in 1969--dubbed in Polish.

That movie ends with human beings having destroyed NY City.

--

This one--

Acting and direction, special effects all very good.

But the script!!--that is Excellent.

The first and last shots are focused on the ape leader Ceasar's eyes.

True to this, it is all from Ceasar's point of view, and truly wonderful writing.

Language is introduced slowly, beginning with the first word spoken by Ceasar, "Go!"

Alan Serkis is excellent, also the actor who played the bad ape Koba.

Language is never used for more than a few very simple, declarative but important sentences by the apes.

Apes are majestic.

Humans are portrayed as petty, manipulative and ineffectual losers, stupid.

The music and sets are excellent.

In the end, it is all political and all about power, not hydroelectric power, I mean power as in powerful/Ceasar.

This movie explores what it means to be truly human, a true ape.

Kyi May Kaung--7-26-2014

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