20 Aug 2011

Rise of the planet apes movie review

Don't mess with nature: this is the simple message of this superbly mounted film. But more than the simplicity of the message, it is the fact that this must be one of the warmest and most humane sci fi fantasies of late that makes Rise of the Planet of the Apes such a gripping saga. Unlike most science films, this one doesn't boast of special effects alone, although the revolt of the super intelligent primates and their war against the residents ofSan Francisco is the stuff mega movie lore is made of. 

Watch the apes storm across the Golden Gate bridge, chase cars, smash them down, jump into helicopters, tear them apart and send the super human species reeling for cover and you have relentless moments of high drama on screen. Equally enthralling is the secret uprising in the animal facility where Caesar infuses a sense of dignity in the rest of the apes who are used to being maltreated by the cruel handlers. Surely and surely, the animals mutate into super-charged entities that unleash a war for supremacy against humans who have been using them as guinea pigs for their sundry unethical experiments. But all this scientific stuff has such a high emotional quotient to it, it not only makes the film intensely warm and sensitive but infuses a soul in it. 

Caesar's growing up years with the Rodman family have a magical allure to them as he shares a special bond with each and every member of the family, which includes Rodman, his primatologist girlfriend, Frieda Pinto and his father. Franco actually doubles up as Caesar's dad, which is why the almost-human primate feels so bad when he is abandoned by him. And the fact that James Francoalways manages to add that special touch to his roles, makes his character even more appealing. Freida Pinto stays mostly in the background but does have a piquant charm of her own. In the end, it is Andy Serkis who towers above all as Caesar, the super intelligent ape who learns to express everything --anger, grief, pain, love --with his piercing eyes.

It's warm, it's sensitive, it's dramatic, it's larger-than-life... Yes, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is spectacular cinema with loads of lessons for money and power obsessed mankind.

Tip Off: This one's both a mass entertainer and a film with a high intelligent quotient. In short, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is everybody's weekend getaway. 

Trailer here

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