A For Apes
Film: Dawn Of The Planet of The Apes
Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Duration: 2 hrs 10 mins
Rating: * * * *
To put it plainly, Dawn of the Planet of Apes is one of the best mainstream Hollywood films we have seen in recent times and this fact is all the more commendable because most of the sequels and franchise films are mostly out there to make moolah at the box office with creativity taking a backseat.
But this film is different. As a sequel to Rise of the Planet of Apes or even as a stand-alone, it is rock solid. The team of writers is pretty much the same and huge credit goes to the director Matt Reeves, this film is in complete contrast with Cloverfield (2008). The visual effects are splendid but more importantly, Dawn Of The Planet of The Apes has a good story to tell.
It is set at a non specific time after the previous film ended. The human civilization is in shambles and there is a group of survivors in Los Angeles trying to make contact with other humans, if there are any. But the opening act is about the apes, how they live and what their clan is like. Caesar (Andy Serkis, adding another feather to his cap after King Kong, Gollum and Captain Haddock) is their leader who has just become a father again. His elder son Blue Eyes, his trusted aide Maurice and Koba who is disillusioned with human beings, play a key part.
On the human side there is Malcolm (Jason Clare) and his friends who are attempting to generate electricity from a dam that lies in an area where the apes live. There is a strong distrust in some of the members of the two species, but Malcolm and Caesar build a bond over a period of time. Gary Oldman plays a soldier who has no qualms in obliterating the apes. But he is not one of those one dimensional villains of the piece, he has a soft heart as well but that is when it comes to his family, not the apes.
Subtlety is the key here and it makes allegorical references rather than hammer down what it is has to say. And this is not just a story of friendship between humans and animals, there is more to it. At times the apes behave like humans and vice versa. As evolution has proved, there is after all a thin line between us and our predecessors.
Published in The Navhind Times on 13th July 2014