An all-star cast took to the red carpet for the premiere of Rise of the planet of the Apes but the show stealer was Freida Pinto looking elegant in a vibrant green dress. The actress lined up along side former Spiderman and 127 Hours star, James Franco as well as John Lithgow, Andy Serkis and Tom Felton of Harry Potter fame.
Appearing in only her second major film role after her part in Slumdog Millionaire, Pinto is enjoying the accolade of being one of Hollywood’s most sought after actresses since her big screen début.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes follows a different path to its predecessors as it charts the evolution of chimps and other primates through human intervention, to a point where they become so intelligent that they rise up against their human tormentors and start a terrifying revolution which pits man against primate in a battle for control of the planet.
James Franco, cast as Will Rodman, is the man behind the experiments as he searches for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease which his father (played by the excellent John Lithgow) suffers from. Rodman’s facility is closed down but he takes the subject of his work, a chimpanzee named ‘Caesar’ (for whom Andy Serkis of Gollum fame provides the motion capture) and continues his experiments, gifting Caesar greater intelligence in the process.
Cue Freida Pinto’s character, a primatologist who plays an integral role in the rest of the film as things go from bad to worse when Caesar is placed in another facility and calamity arises.
Although the film is a work of fiction there have been many incidents where primates have rebelled against their supposed homosapien masters with disastrous results for the humans. One such case featured a monkey named Brother Kwan who was bought by Leilit Janchoom for the sole purpose of collecting coconuts.
Janchoom would never let Kwan rest and often beat the monkey if it didn’t comply. According to Janchoom’s wife the monkey snapped one day, climbed a tree and aimed a coconut at his cruel owner, hitting him on the head killing him instantly.
Further stories include monkeys in captivity who grew tired of having no privacy and crafted stones into disc shaped objects and hurled them at patrons.
The most disturbing cases though are of those used in vivisection who are forced to suffer horrendous ordeals in the name of science. Rise of the planet of the Apes only touches lightly upon that aspect of the real story and it is worth sparing a thought for the animals that suffer disgusting treatment on a daily basis in the name of curing human ailments even though it is statistically proven that animal testing is more of a hindrance to progress than humane testing.
One such facility which came under intense pressure from protesters was the Coulston Foundation which was found to have a staggering 650 chimpanzees in its possession. The owner, Frederick Coulston was funded by the federal government, pharmaceutical and chemical companies but after a decade of campaigning and with the help of whistleblowers and the IDA, the chimps were successfully rehoused at a sanctuary and Coulston was bankrupted.
Although not quite the action extravaganza that Rise of the Planet of the Apes promises to be, the IDA claimed a huge scalp with their campaign against Coulston and they are still working on other similar facilities today.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is set for release on August 5th while the IDA are on general release right now and looking for help and donations to aid their cause.
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Read about James Franco quitting twitter to write more; Tome Felton’s denial over baby claims and Charlton Heston’s battle with alcoholism, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
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