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Review: Twelve Monkeys – 12 Monkeys (1995)

Directed by: | 129 minutes | , thriller, fiction | Actors: , , Brad Pitt, , , , David Morse, , Vernon Campbell, H. Michael Walls, , ,

A dangerous virus, time travel, madness, Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt are the ingredients of the mysterious science fiction thriller ’12 Monkeys’. The is the work of Terry Gilliam, also responsible for ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, among others. This time, however, he does not opt ​​for a , but creates a terrifying, exciting and confusing story. ’12 Monkeys’ is a film that not only portrays the vulnerability of the human psyche, but also leaves the viewer himself in an uncertain state. In this way, thanks to the acting, a deep impression is left.

The year is 2035. Only one percent of humanity survived a deadly 1996 pandemic. The remaining ‘lucky birds’ are forced to live underground, while the surface is again dominated by wild animals. A group of scientists want to discover the origin of the virus and sociopath James Cole (Bruce Willis) is the perfect person for that, according to them. The organization ‘Army of the Twelve Monkeys’ seems to have something to do with the spread of the virus and to investigate this, the scientists want to let Cole travel time to the year of disaster. However, instead of going back to 1996, he is accidentally sent to 1990, where he gets into trouble with the police and is held in a mental institution. There he not only meets someone who is important for the investigation,

’12 Monkeys’ remains interesting for the entire two hours due to the addition of several confusing elements. The events take place in the past and since the evil of the virus is known to happen, the viewer basically knows what is going to happen. Nevertheless, the film manages to keep the tension high, because you secretly hope that everything will turn out well … Furthermore, the theme of madness is expressed in different ways. Firstly, Cole is a sociopath and in the past he ends up in an institution, also the captain of ‘Army of the Twelve Monkeys’ is a bit loose. Although Cole is not really crazy, he seems to lose his grip on reality more and more as the story progresses. What’s real and what’s not, what is present and what is past? The spectator is drawn into this confusing state until he himself does not know exactly who is who, where they come from and who is responsible for which actions. This condition is not only brought about in terms of content, but also by form elements. Flashbacks and dreams appear on the screen without the viewer knowing what they mean. A clearly audible voice with no known origin also has a mystifying effect. The confusion intensifies as time goes on, and at the – to some extent – open ending, there is plenty to think about. The confusion and mystery have a positive consequence in this case, they have a stimulating and interesting effect. where they come from and who is responsible for what actions. This condition is not only brought about in terms of content, but also by form elements. Flashbacks and dreams appear on the screen without the viewer knowing what they mean. A clearly audible voice with no known origin also has a mystifying effect. The confusion intensifies as time goes on, and at the – to some extent – open ending, there is plenty to think about. The confusion and mystery have a positive consequence in this case, they have a stimulating and interesting effect. where they come from and who is responsible for what actions. This condition is not only brought about in terms of content, but also by form elements. Flashbacks and dreams appear on the screen without the viewer knowing what they mean. A clearly audible voice with no known origin also has a mystifying effect. The confusion intensifies as time goes on, and at the – to some extent – open ending, there is plenty to think about. The confusion and mystery have a positive consequence in this case, they have a stimulating and interesting effect. The confusion intensifies as time goes on, and at the – to some extent – open ending, there is plenty to think about. The confusion and mystery have a positive consequence in this case, they have a stimulating and interesting effect. The confusion intensifies as time goes on, and at the – to some extent – open ending, there is plenty to think about. The confusion and mystery have a positive consequence in this case, they have a stimulating and interesting effect.

The strong acting also contributes to the strength of the film. Especially Brad Pitt as Jeffrey Goines stands out. Cole meets him in the mental hospital, but unlike Cole, Goines actually doesn’t seem quite right. Pitt knows how to express his state of mind in an impressive way, if only by looking out of his eyes with a cross-eyed, disturbed look. Furthermore, his mood swings and the attempts to cover up his deviation seem realistic.

’12 Monkeys’ is a film with a somewhat bizarre theme, Gilliam knows how to combine the genres science fiction, thriller and drama in a very interesting way. Thanks to the mystifying events, both on a substantive and on a formal level, the viewer is stimulated to contemplate the film. Gilliam tests the human psyche, as it were, which is even more successful thanks to the strong acting. A film that continues to fascinate.

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