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Aglaia Interactive - 12 Monkeys

Visit Aglaia Interactive – 12 Monkeys

By Sunil Kumar

This is my portal as you may have noticed, and I shall review some of my favorite movies. The magic of cinema keeps me and many people entranced, due to the drama of the visual image. We have always told stories, they just got more interesting with the aesthetics of cinema.

A 1995 science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and Brad Pitt, the film had a $29.5 million budget, and filming lasted from February to May 1995. It was shot largely in Philadelphia and Baltimore.

James Cole is a convicted criminal who is living in a post-apocalyptic future. To earn a pardon, Cole allows scientists to send him on dangerous missions to the past to collect information on the virus, thought to be released by a terrorist organization known as the Army of the Twelve Monkeys.

He is sent back into the past to find a pure sample of the virus so that a cure can be found. Cole is also troubled with recurring dreams involving a chase and a shooting at the airport.

The movie studies the subjective nature of memories and their effect upon perceptions of reality. In simple words, what people remember is subjective on their subjectivity. Maybe you got the point, maybe you did not. I know that I did not know that I knew.

In Cole’s first trip, he arrives in Baltimore in 1990 and not 96. He is hospitalized and arrested and kept in a mental institution on the diagnosis of Dr. Kathryn Reilly(Stowe). There he encounters Jeffrey Goines(Brad Pitt), a fellow mental patient with very strident animal rights and anti-consumer leanings.

He tries unsuccessfully to leave a voicemail on a number monitored by the scientists in the future. After a failed escape attempt, Cole is restrained and locked in a cell, but then actually disappears, returning to the future.

Back in his own time, Cole is interviewed by the scientists, who play a distorted voice mail message which gives the location of the Army of the Twelve Monkeys and states that they are responsible for the virus. He is also shown photos of numerous people suspected of being involved with the virus, including Goines. The scientists then send him back to 1996.

The Story

Cole kidnaps Railly and sets out in search of Goines, learning that he is the founder of the Army of the Twelve Monkeys. When confronted, however, Goines denies any involvement with the virus and suggests that wiping out humanity was Cole’s idea, originally broached at the asylum in 1990. Cole vanishes again as the police approach.

After Cole disappears, Railly begins to doubt her diagnosis of Cole when she finds evidence that he is telling the truth, including a photograph from World War I in which Cole appears. To cut the story short, and fast forward, the end has Cole shot dead and he as a young boy watching his own death. This scene is the one that replays in his own mind for many years.

Movie Magic

This is the most poignant and subtle element of the movie, in my opinion.Gilliam undertook the same filmmaking style from his own Brazil (1985), including the art direction and cinematography (specifically using fresnel lenses).

For the uninitiated, a fresnel lens allows the construction of lenses of large aperture and short focal length without the mass and volume of material required by a lens of conventional design. And for the cinematographers, the movie was shot with Cooke S3 primes.

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 21: Actress Madeleine Stowe arrives at the 14th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards With Presenting Sponsor Lacoste held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on February 21, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

So, as I have to write something different, till the next review.

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