Tuesday, 21 April 2009

2001: A Space Odyssey

Movie Review: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Year of Release: 1968
Country of Origin: UK, USA
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Plot outline: Mankind finds a mysterious, obviously artificial, artifact buried on the moon and, with the intelligent computer HAL, sets off on a quest (IMDb).

2001: A Space Odyssey was probably the most original movie ever made. It is so different from conventional movies that, in fact, it may be a different art form altogether. Even the very best movies, such as Casablanca, Rebecca and Chinatown have formulaic elements. In contrast, 2001 is in its own world, as if all the movies made before had never existed. Even though Stanley Kubrick has made even better movies (Dr. Strangelove and Barry Lyndon), 2001 will always be the most impressive, just for its originality and audacity. The movie has four parts. The first part is the dawn of man. Man-apes are taught to use tools and kill by an imposing black monolith. In the second part, a second black monolith is found buried in the moon by astronauts in the year 2001. This leads to a mission to Jupiter by another team of astronauts and a talkative, emotional computer named HAL. The final and most surreal part has astronaut Dave Bowman traveling to the infinite and beyond. Many critics were (and perhaps still are) put off by the lack of dialogue and character development, the slow pace, and surreal imagery. 2001 is a story told by cinematography, with much of the meaning left to the imagination of the viewer. The most developed character in the movie is HAL, a computer that is more emotional than the robotlike humans that accompany him on the mission. The confrontation between HAL (voiced by Douglas Rain) and Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) is the most interesting part of the movie, more so than the increasingly bizarre and unfathomable finale. (BK)

My judgement: **** out of 4 stars

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