Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey Reviews
she was a zoologist who took the job traveling to the African jungle to study groups of gorillas but after witnessing the poaching and slaughtering of the animals she dedicated herself to saving them and preserving the balance of life
the capturing and money-making of gorillas is horrific enough especially when you are aware of the on-going civil war between the tribes people
it's very distressing to watch the violence being done to the gorillas, I almost wanted to look away several times
still you cant help but root for Dian's love for them and it is sad that if we don't do something soon there will be none of them left in the world
like any living creature gorillas need their families to continue flourishing and extinction is the last thing we want for our ecosystem
I admire Dian Fossey's hard journey to save these gorillas and make sure they still thrive
It was good, but not without flaws.
Mainly, the pacing is inconsistent. The story doesn't really thoroughly develop well enough or characterise Dian Fossey over time in the best manner. To be specific, by the time the movie is practically two thirds finished, the story has developed to about a third of the beneficial amount. Then suddenly it cuts to 5 years later where Dian Fossey has changed, but we do not witness the change. We witness her act the same in both time periods, but when a particular situation arises we see a more brutal side to her. Although its conveyed well, it frankly is too big a jump for the good of the story, and for how it's characterising Dian Fossey, the main focus of the story.
Also, we're only given a brief time to embrace the new and changed Dian Fossey, not long enough for us to understand her or comprehend the jump that has happened over the five year change, and then as quick as she's changed, the movie is finished. This really doesn't pay such the strongest tribute to a figure who saved Gorillas from extinction in Rwanda, but rather shrinks the depiction of the real success of what she did to a few scenes and a single period of on screen text at the end which loosely summarises what she did. Basically, Gorillas in the Mist covers two portions of Dian Fossey's life in a very minimalist manner, and doesn't teach nearly as much as it could have.
Much of Gorillas in the Mist faces the problem of not being able to tell its story well. It's more focused on achieving beautiful scenery footage with great cinematography than it is in telling its story of Dian Fossey or in establishing an atmosphere half the time. It's atmosphere isn't established much until the intense sequences, and even then its a struggle. Basically, Michael Apted's role as Director doesn't really explore Dian Fossey enough for us to cement her image in our minds as anything much more than "the gorilla lady played by Sigourney Weaver" which although flattering isn't a befitting tribute.
But still, Gorillas in the Mist is a powerful biopic with some of the most incredible jungle footage ever filmed.
Gorillas in the Mist is a powerful technical achievement because of its astounding cinematography which captures excellent footage if the jungle and of gorillas, assisted in its atmospheric setting by a great musical score. The sound effects and film editing are also great, and it all has a really good nature feel to it which strengthens it immensely.
But what leads it all is the excellent work by lead actress Sigourney Weaver in the titular role. Not only does she flawlessly capture the passion of Dian Fossey when working with substandard direction, but she engages with the set, location and amazingly the gorillas in such an organic and natural manner that she absolutely embodies Dian Fossey and gives her the sense of strength and determination which she requires to be a strong character, and this is what Sigourney Weaver single handedly achieves against the adversity of poor storytelling. Her work in Gorillas in the Mist is some of her finest.
And Bryan Brown made a charismatic screen presence, bringing over Australian charm and the skill of conjuring fine chemistry to make him a terrific on-screen duo with Sigourney Weaver. He engages really well.
Thanks to the charm of the two stars of the film and the great technical accomplishments, Gorillas in the Mist is a film that overshadows its shortcomings at telling its story.