King Kong

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The film of King Kong from 2005 is directed by Peter Jackson and is a mixture of the genres action, drama and adventure. This version is a remake of the 1993 film of the same name and stars several famous actors such as Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody. King Kong had a record-breaking film budget of incredible 207 million dollars. Even though the film performed lower than expectations, King Kong had an income of approximately 550 million dollars. The film has received many awards and among them are for Best Visual Effect, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.

Peter Jackson himself was nominated for the Best Director at Golden Globe Awards for his masterpiece. Just to be nominated in itself is a great honour, seeing that it’s extremely prestigious. The story is set in the 1930s and is basically about a group of explorers and filmmakers who travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant Gorilla who immediately becomes fascinated with one of the main characters, namely Ann Darrow. In New York around 1933, Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) has lost her job as an actress at a theatre.

At the same time as this occurrence takes place, she meets the troubled and rather unwieldy filmmaker Carl Denham (Jack Black), who of course is seeking for a leading actress to star in his new motion picture. Even though Mr Denham knows his way around the art of persuasion, she says somewhat reluctant no to his offer. The restless filmmaker won’t take no for an answer. Ann signs on when she heard that her favourite playwright Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) is the screenwriter.

Carl Denham is willing to do virtually anything to get what he wants, including guiding his crew to a mysterious and fairly frightening island where many savages and monsters inhabit. With the police and creditors on his heels, Mr Denham barely escapes to sea on a ship along with his crew. Since there is a warrant for Carl’s arrest, the captain Englehorn (Thomas Kretschmann) begins to have second thoughts and don’t have much faith in Denham’s plans. Therefore the captain decides to turn the ship around and go back. While doing so, Skull Island comes to sight in the fog. Immediately after, the ship smashes into several rocks and runs aground.

Carl sees this as an opportunity to explore the mysterious and hidden island and managed to persuade most of his crew to follow him. What seems to be a deserted place suddenly gets a drastic turn. Many aggressive natives emerge from the caves where they have been hiding. Carl and his crew are attacked, which led to Mike, the sound technician, being impaled, one of the sailors has his head bashed in, and Jack is beaten by a number of savages. They quickly hurried back to the stranded ship, trying to flee. Just seconds later, Jack discovers that Ann is captured by the natives, which results in their return to the gloomy island.

On Skull Island, Ann is sacrificed to a giant gorilla named Kong. She hangs from a balcony on the side of the wall, and when the crew arrives heavily armed, it’s too late as Kong has taken Ann into the huge jungle. From here on, the story really develops to be quite the adventure. The crew is desperate to get Ann back and therefore they are heading into the jungle to look for her. Along the way they meet many dangerous obstacles. The crew come across several beasts or more correct dinosaurs, which leads to death for some sailors. In meanwhile, Ann tries to entertain the giant gorilla by juggling and dancing.

After a longer period of time, the crew discovers Ann and manage to take her along with them in their return to the ship. Kong, who had to struggle with other dinosaurs when this took place, wouldn’t give up Ann without a fight. When the crew are on their way back to the ship in rather small boats, Kong appears. He is without any doubt furious and roars so loud that you get chills. It arises an opportunity for Carl to catch the beast, when Kong attempts to capture Ann back. He manages to knock out the giant gorilla by throwing a large bottle of chloroform in his face.

Around Christmas in New York, Carl presents the giant beast on a Broadway show, which is named “the Eight Wonder of the World”. The show is starring Baxter and a chained Kong in imprisonment. The play recreates the moment when the natives sacrificed Ann to Kong, but on this show she is replaced by a look-a-like. It’s not well received by Kong himself, and when the camera flashes from the photographers also strike him, it enrages the giant gorilla. Kong manages to break free from his chrome-steel chains. The crowd are panic-stricken and tries to flee.

Simultaneous, the giant Gorilla recognizes Jack and chases him across town, where he encounters Ann again. Kong takes Ann in is hand and escapes into Central Park, where they share a rather quiet moment before the beast gets attacked by the army. This results in that Kong climbs with Ann onto the Empire State Building. Several military planes attack him, but he managed to smash three of them. The giant beast glances at Ann for the last time before falling off the building to his death, as he eventually is hit so many times by the burst of gunfire from the surviving planes. Jack appears immediately after, and she falls into his arms.

People are gathering around Kong’s corpse taking pictures. Carl arrives seconds later and ends the film by saying “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast. ” The actors fulfilled my expectations considerably. Jack on the other hand, came as a wonderful surprise. I didn’t believe he could play such a serious and emotional character, since his previous movies and roles have been very different. He is far more known for starring in comedies and making people laugh. My expectations were quite high before seeing King Kong, since the film has received excellent reviews worldwide and also won several prices.

Still it gave me great satisfaction. The title of the film has a great relevance to the film as a whole. The giant gorilla has been given the name Kong from Carl after his capture. He received the name King, seeing that he was a king in the jungle where he former lived. Another interpretation of the name King may be that he seemed to be the king of all gorillas, since he was so huge. The film begins by showing us the surroundings. One quickly understands that the story is set a long time ago, which I believe is the purpose to the director. In the last scene where Carl Denham approaches Kong’s lifeless body, he looks rather sad.

When a reporter says that the planes killed Kong, Carl responds, “It wasn’t the planes that killed him. It was Beauty killed the Beast”. For me this seems quite strange, since Denham has been fairly self-centred and merely obsessed by the thought of becoming a famous film director through the entire film. Up till now he have showed no feelings for Kong whatsoever. Maybe this was some kind of a revelation or an eye-opener for Denham. Perhaps he realised that he needed to give others more respect. Another interpretation of mine is that he only said those exact words, because he figured it would make the tomorrows headline in the newspaper.

Seeing that he corresponded to a journalist and also that his line is quite cliche. Why should his character suddenly change into to someone with feelings for Kong? Peter Jackson used many different film techniques in the movie, especially in the key scenes. As an example, I can refer to one of my favourite scenes in the film, which is when Ann appears after Kong has chased Jack all around town. The camera goes from long shot to a mid shot, focusing on Ann. While this is happening the surroundings become quite dark and fuzzy, which I believe is an effect the producer does to give the main character more attention and focus.

Jackson uses a fairly calm, peaceful, and yet a bit romantic soundtrack in this scene. I suppose this is to enhance the tension and the chemistry between Kong and Ann. One gets the feeling that Ann is surrounded by something divine. She is also wearing a white dress, something that may indicate that Ann is rather an innocent woman, as white is a symbol of peace and innocence. The director uses a number of various camera angels, soundtracks and other film techniques trough the film. Especially the film techniques including sound effects, music and the different camera angels are quite noticeable in the key scenes.

I imagine this is used to set a certain setting and to enhance the film. For instance Peter Jackson uses a lot of long-, mid, tracking, reverse and subjective shot. Close ups is also frequently used. Although the film lasted for approximately 3 hours, it was extremely amusing. I didn’t get bored a single time. There were so much excitement and tension that lasted through the whole film, leaving me rather strapped to the chair. Peter Jackson has without any doubt made another masterpiece of a film. This is absolutely a film that one ought to see. It should definitely get a spot in ones film collection.

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