Films | Rise Of The Planet Of Apes – Review

Rise Of The Planet Of Apes – Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on August 5, 2011 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver,
DIRECTOR – Rupert Wyatt
WRITER – Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver (based on Pierre Boulle’s book)
CAST – James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis
MUSIC – Patrick Doyle

The Planet of the Apes series has reversed the world order and back a couple of times. In the latest film, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, director Rupert Wyatt yet again reverses it giving apes a par-human intelligence and sensibility, and the war between the humans and apes continues. The film, as the name suggests, is a prequel to the Charlton Heston film of 1968, ‘Planet of the Apes’. The entire series is based on Pierre Boulle’s 1963 book ‘La planète des singes.’

The film chooses not to be faithful to the original book borrowing only certain elements from it. So it is set in the world of today complete with genetic engineering and the works. Will Rodman (James Franco) is a genetic engineer working on a cure for Alzheimer’s disease that would repair brain cells. What he invents is a means to modify brain cells and the subject he is testing it on starts developing an advanced intelligence. This test subject is an ape called Caesar (Andy Serkis). Soon, human authorities deem Caesar a threat. But he is now a discerning animal. He understands freedom, rights and domination. He takes it upon himself to win all of it back for himself and his species from uncaring humans.

The film is fittingly captioned ‘Evolution to Revolution’ and that in a nutshell describes it. Sporting stunning CGI and filmed in the live-action technique, it manages to successfully simulate expressive human traits in digitally manipulated figures. This brings the interactions alive and makes the world of the film relatable.

The film is stylish, largely due to the sweeping direction of Rupert Wyatt and this makes for superb drama. James Franco effortlessly plays a typically engrossed and removed-from-the-world scientist diligently working away at his goal. He has Freida Pinto for company, a co-scientist who is a Primatologist and his love interest. Together they join Caesar in the war between humans and apes.

Arrogance, victory, defeat, racial supremacy, justice, equality, survival of the fittest, domination and subjugation, jingoism all have found their way into the series at some point. This film too isn’t devoid of it, bringing into contrast degrees of intelligence and the question of – does the survival of the fittest automatically mean inheritance of the earth?

However, the film is a drama and doesn’t stop to pontificate on these strains leaving them merely as thematic strands. The film is meant to thrill and entertain and it does both with reasonable aplomb. It is faithful to the world it creates and the story it sets out to tell. That is reasonable enough, isn’t it?

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