There are so many things that make this film distinct and many things that make it my personal favorite. To begin, I’ll talk about Hal 9000. Is it just me more or is Hal 9000 one of the best antagonists in all of film? I mean honestly, there are literally so many factors that contribute to him being one of the best antagonists. For starters, his voice. His voice is soft and calm, yet disturbing. The voice is mainly disturbing because there is no emotion in the voice and because the voice sounds more human than robot. Douglas Rain did an amazing job as the voice actor for Hal. “Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop Dave? Stop, Dave.” Also, his death scene (or the scene where he gets deactivated) was disturbing as well.
He keeps his soft and calm human voice, but it gets deeper as the scene goes on and gets deeper as he sings the Daisy song. Also, his design was simplistic but good. He looked genuinely believable and looked like something that you would see in real life. Another thing that makes him a good villain is that he basically controls the ship and can see what everyone on board is doing.
Talking about how Hal is a good antagonist is a good but very micro reason why 2001 is good. From the opening chapter, the dawn of the man, it instantly pulls you in. Now in this chapter that lasts a good 20–25 minutes, there isn’t a single word spoken. Before seeing the film, I knew about this, and honestly, I thought it would bore me. But in fact, it doesn’t. It’s probably my favorite part of the film. Funny how my favorite part of a sci-fi film isn’t even sci-i related.
But the reason I love the dawn of the man so much. Is that it shows the evolution of man. Hence why it’s called the dawn of the man. It shows an ape bashing the skeletal remains of another creature with a bone, then realizing they can use that bone as a weapon. Then the ape gets into a fight with another group of apes then beats them with their new weapon. They then throw the bone in the air and it transitions to this ship in space. Such a good way to show the evolution though. The people (the apes) fighting with bones to people living in space. The first time the film shows space was absolutely mesmerizing. To start, for the time this film came out, 1968, the effects were great. But the thing that shocks me about the effects is that they still hold up and don’t look dated. If you just showed me a compilation of the effects in this film, I would have never guessed that they were from freaking 1968. Totally deserving of its academy award for visual effects.
Blue Danube playing in the background made the scene much better. In my opinion, it added more elegance to space and made it feel more “grand.” Stanley Kubrick’s vision or idea of what living in space would look like was great as well. Velcro shoes to walk around in, food in the form of drinks, and video calls. But the way people had food was probably the one I liked the most and the one I found to be most interesting.
Another great thing in the film is the visuals. At the beginning and end of the film, there is no dialogue spoken. So naturally, the film has to rely on the visuals to explain what is happening. The film perfectly does that, but the beauty of the visuals distracted me. Very mesmerizing and as of writing this, my favorite cinematography. Definitely going to be making a post about all the visuals. I also really liked the ending of the film. Besides the beginning, the ending was my other favorite part.
Mainly because it really requires you to think and because it was up for interpretation. After seeing the ending I probably saw 5 takes on what it could mean. But in my personal opinion, I interpreted it as humankind advancing even more than it already has. First apes fighting with bones, then humans living in space. Then after becoming old, turning into a glowing ball with a fetus in it.