I went to see this film last night expecting to be happily entertained for a couple of hours. Instead I left deflated and fighting a “pissed off” feeling.
Among the hundreds of human survivors in post-apocalyptic San Francisco and the large group of apes in the forests, the cast consisted of just two female characters, one ape, one human. The human woman, Ellie, was played by Keri Russell. Some may know her from The Americans. I remember her from her days on Malibu Shores. The female ape – As far as I know she wasn’t addressed by name. She was Caesar’s wife, gave birth to his son, got sick and that was the extent of her character.
The gang of human survivors: I noticed a couple of female faces in the crowd but they were nameless and voiceless. The group of humans who venture into the apes’ territory? All male except for Russell who has very little to do. In fact she’s left entirely out of the final battle scene.
How about the females in ape society? Apart from Caesar’s wife, I didn’t see any. The only reference to females was Koba saying females and young were to stay put while the rest of his army went out to fight. That was about the moment I half choked on my fizzy cola bottle sweet.
Seriously. Just seriously. I’ve seen mostly four star reviews in the local newspapers as well as online. Did the critics notice the glaringly obvious lack of female characters, or are they just ignoring it? How about the writers and directors? My gut tells me no one set out to intentionally create a film almost devoid of a female voice, but that’s what has happened.
As I’m writing this, I’m starting to get angrier than I was watching this film. This new “Dawn” is one where women are not welcome.
Have you seen Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?