My student choice movie #1 was the 1968 film, Planet of the Apes. Since I initially thought it was a part of the current mainstream idea of the Ape planet, I was surprised to see that it was completely different. I admit it took me some time to adjust to the film’s reality and the older film look, but I enjoyed the ideas behind the images on the screen.
The film began as an alternative universe where the prime species was adapted from the Apes, and humans were less sophisticated. It was a thought-provoking film that’s hinted at topics such as animal cruelty, animal testing, and the overall human outlook on animal intelligence. Humans believe they are superior, but when put in an uncomfortable position, they become susceptible to the will of others just like animals are in the zoo. One part that significantly stuck out was the forced experimental surgeries imposed on humans—especially the partner of the main character being mutilated to remove his one intellectual identifier, his speech.
The Apes adapted the same way as the humans showing that it could go either way in evolution. They learned science, surgery techniques, speaking and communication, and the most important, love. The animals began acting as the humans did in every aspect. It was interesting to see that the twist of the movie and its truly abrupt ending show that humans led to their demise while the astronauts were up in space. When they came back down, however, their counterparts sabotaged themselves much time later. Furthermore, enhancing the idea that since humans are seen, superior actions always make room for the ending of the era, and others might be capable of assuming the role of dominance.