Monday, November 15, 2010

1969 Acid Trip

The movie 2001: A Space Odyssey is basically a movie about evolution involving a mysterious monolith (large monument or stone). It begins during the dawn of men, which of course are apes instead of men. There are two rival groups of apes that fight over a waterhole. One day, a black monolith making a humming sound appears and the leader of one of the groups fearlessly touches the monolith. Later, the apes are scavenging for food and the leader discovers he can use the dead animal’s bones as a weapon. With this new invention, the group of apes threatens and kills the less intelligent group of apes because they desired the waterhole. This portrays the apes slowly advancing from a mere less intelligent humanity.

Now, the film occurs in a completely different scene, which is a shuttle orbiting a thousand miles from Earth. The futuristic shuttle is filled with portable food and zero gravity toilets. Dr. Floyd is awaiting his destination to the moon to investigate a second monolith that has been discovered; upon waiting he has brief conversations with some scientists. Then, Dr. Floyd and other people take a so-called moon bus from the shuttle to the moon in order to investigate the monolith. They dock from the bus and walk to the site where the monolith is located wearing space suits. The monolith is inside a pit in the ground; the men enter the pit and surround the humming monolith. Dr. Floyd fearlessly touches it. Then when the sun rises hitting the monolith, a loud screeching noise is heard and stuns the men.

Again, the film is in a completely different scene. Frank Poole, Dave Bowman, and an extremely intelligent talking computer who is capable of expressing emotions named HAL are on a mission to Jupiter in a spaceship. There are three other astronauts hibernating in the spaceship as well. During the mission, Frank and Dave discover that some unit out of the spaceship has failed, so with a space pod, they exit the ship and attempt to fix the unit. When they cannot fix it, they return inside the ship and discuss HAL’s possible malfunctions in a sound proof pod. Unfortunately HAL can read lips, so he fears for his so-called life. Again, Frank attempts to fix the unit, but HAL takes control of the pod and uses it to attack. Frank’s oxygen line is disconnected leaving him to float helplessly in space to die. While Dave is trying to save Frank, HAL kills the three hibernating astronauts by cutting their life support. Realizing that HAL is dangerous, Dave discounts his ‘brain’.

After the malfunction of HAL, Dave continues the mission alone. He leaves the spaceship in a pod to pursue the monolith. The pod and Dave are sucked into some kind of canal of colorful lights throughout space at an extremely fast speed. Then, all of a sudden, the pod and Dave are in a room. Dave is no longer young, but old with wrinkles and white hair. He sees himself slowly dying and the black monolith appears at the edge of his bed as he dies. In the bed where Dave’s dead body was now lies a fetus where Dave will be reborn again.

I honestly thought the movie was extremely weird, but made some sense as well. Our humanity still has not discovered what is beyond the solar system, but since technology is slowly advancing like in the movie, maybe one day we will finally find out. The monolith gave intelligence to the humans, maybe something in our world is also placed here to help us advance but we have not found it yet. The movie made me curious of whether or not another intelligent life form is helping us expand. I thought the character of HAL was great. He is just like a normal person, but who is a genius and has a devious side to him as well. The movie portrayed a man vs. robot plot amazingly; I assume HAL might have been the precedent of bad robots to follow in other movies. Overall, I considered the movie to be very confusing and appreciative, but it is also a movie I can only watch once in a life time.

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