dumbass’s review published on Letterboxd:
Disclaimer: I might’ve said some shit that doesn’t make any sense I’m not in a clear state of mind 😩
2001: A Space Odyssey is the greatest technical achievement. The best visual effects. The best cinematography. The best score.
This film has a very linear story up until the finale.
First of all, the use of monoliths signifying the different stages of evolution and how the aliens that sent them are like gods to us is absolutely perfect. The first one being how ape-men go from being very primitive to finding a monolith and advancing. The second one, that the U.S finds on the moon showing that we have evolved and can comprehend and feel but are still not at our fullest potential and the third one signifies that the protagonist Dave Bowman has entered another universe or perhaps dimension that we are not able to comprehend. Kubrick himself has said that the star gate at Jupiter sending Dave to the dimension of the higher beings is something that neither we, the audience or Dave can fully comprehend. And the final one that we see appears in front of Dave on his deathbed signifies humanity coming to its end and being reborn with the Star Child that we see at the end of the film. I apologize if I explained that poorly. A more simpler answer is that the monoliths are like checkpoints in humanity’s evolution.
Another incredible thing is that Kubrick predicted the dangers of A.I that most of us fear today. HAL 9000 famously kills most of the crew because they wanted to unplug him due to a mistake. However in most modern action films the robots take over but in this Kubrick thought that humanity would prevail.
The aliens’ ultimate goal was to send the monoliths to allow humans to advance past the ape-men stage and progress all the way to achieve space travel and find the monolith on the moon. When they do in fact find it the monolith sends a signal which humans track to Jupiter as Jupiter is the place of the star gate leading to their own dimension. After that a crew of five is sent to Jupiter for a so called exploration mission. However only until after they reach Jupiter and Dave unplugs Hal is when a pre-recorded video tells Dave that 18 months ago they found a monolith that was buried on the moon 4 million years ago revealing that there is intelligent life outside of Earth. In that recording the final lines of the film are said: “ Except for a single, very powerful radio emission aimed at Jupiter the four million year old black monolith has remained completely inert, its origin and purpose still a total mystery.” If you think about it the last few words they apply to a lot of things in the film. I know Im kind of trailing off but please keep reading if you are. Afterwards Dave is sucked into the Space Gate and he is in a room. The alien-gods study and analyze him without us seeing them of course. We see Dave age to old and then to near death. After he dies his physical body is gone, but his spirited remains. His spirit is then reborn as the star child and sent to earth as a more advanced being to guide humans. The film ends on quite an optimistic note which is very unusual for Kubrick. In fact the child is quite similar to the Bible’s Jesus Christ being send by god like beings to guide humans to their next path.
One final interesting thought it that the monoliths, while allowing humankind to advance also made them violent. This is first seen when after finding the monolith the ape men become more intelligent and start to use bones as tools, tools for killing. This is a very interesting study on how as we became more advanced we also became more violent. Think about it like this. Over 2000 years ago the Roman empire fought and conquered most of the Mediterranean with just medieval weapons in around 200 years. It took N*zi Germany to conquer most of Europe and a large part of Russia 4 years. Modern violent technological advancement is caused by our evolution and us getting smarter. I realize that Im trailing away once again. In the very distant future from the time of ape-men in the year 2001 Dave destroys HAL showing that no matter how far we go, how many planets we take over, what technology we create humankind will always have the tendency to be violent.
Anyway thats what I interpreted from the film. Sorry for over analyzing it. I know this is english teacher behavior lmao.