Right. I am now making a conscious decision to talk much more about film (movies) and TV. Growing up in Birmingham, the only access I had to the theatre was pantomine at Christmas and the odd school trip every now and again to Stratford. I am conscious that I am very lucky to be able to access London theatre. Not everyone can get to London, and even those who are in London cannot afford to go to the theatre as often as I do.
So I am going to talk more frequently about art forms that are more accessible to everyone - across London, the UK and internationally. They are art forms on which I cut my teeth growing up. They are film (movies) and TV. Raks Patel is coming home to film and TV! (I will focus on the BBC which in my humble opinion is, and always has been, a world leader in quality drama and comedy).
Yesterday, I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Synopsis cut and pasted from the Brixton Ritzy website:
Rupert Wyatt's (THE ESCAPIST) motion-capture-infused prequel to the 1968 classic PLANET OF THE APES tells the origin story of mankind's fall from grace at the hands of their damn dirty primate cousins.
Set in present-day San Francisco, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES follows Will Rodman (Franco, 127 HOURS), a go-getting young genetics engineer on the brink of a potentially revolutionary scientific discovery. Playing God comes at a grave cost, however, as his neuro-enhanced guinea pig breaks loose and sets about creating an all-powerful ape army.
With the battle for Earth only just begun, it's up to Will and his understudy Caroline (Pinto, SLUMDOG MILLOINAIRE) to save their species from extinction.
The film is directed by Rupert Wyatt and stars James Franco (a genius if ever there was one!), Brian Cox, Freida Pinto and Andy Serkis.
OMFG! This film was mind-blowing! Highly highly highly recommended. You HAVE to go and see this film.
To me, this film had all the themes of Frankenstein (hence the tag).
It is all about a genius scientist (Will Rodman played by James Franco), pushing the boundaries of science. He wants to do something good - find a cure for Alzheimers. This is very personal to him because his father has Alzheimers.
Will experiments on chimps and Caesar is a chimp who is super-intelligent because his mother was injected with the miracle drug. When Caesar's mother is destroyed, Will takes the baby chimp home and becomes its surrogate father. That is when the story, the excitement and the trouble begins!
Like the Creature, Caesar is rejected by human society. He is separated from his surrogate father, Will, and has his liberty taken away. He is subjected to a lot of suffering and heartache. Caesar becomes angry and bitter and fights back and exacts his revenge on humankind.
Andy Serkis is outstanding as Caesar. You can see all the human emotion in his face and in his movement and you can totally and utterly empathise with Caesar and his situation. Caesar is as near human as it is possible to be. My heart went out to him.
I also liked the fact that film had a Black boss as the Chief Executive Officer of the huge pharmaceutical company (David Oyelowo). Mr Oyelowo was excellent in the part and entirely convincing as the head of the big company.
Finally, the film has THE most amazing setpiece climax on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
I LOVED the film.
You could draw parallels with the recent riots in England. I am not talking about comparing young people to chimps, I am talking about what happens when you are not treated with respect or with dignity by mainstream society. You end up bitter and twisted and filled with hate. In the end you are pushed too far and you retaliate. That is when all hell breaks out.
Anyway I am highly highly highly recommending this film - go and see it now!
Good reviews of the film are here: