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When a Giant Ape Loves a Woman – The Tragic Romance of King Kong


Although King Kong combines adventure, action and a touch of horror (he is a giant ape, after all), at heart, it’s a doomed romance. Be it Fay Wray or Naomi Watts as actress Ann Darrow in the 1933 and 2005 versions, or Jessica Lange as Dwan in King Kong circa 1976, the relationship between the monkey and the blonde carries the emotional weight of any set of star-crossed lovers, complete with the universal themes of loneliness, longing, and improbable circumstances.

Kong is lonely on Skull Island — as the last of his kind he doesn’t have much company. Chalk it up to Stockholm syndrome or to the pathos of an intelligent ape trapped in the human world; even if it’s not precisely reciprocal, the blonde loves the beast. Who can explain the motivations of star-crossed lovers?

And that’s the crux of King Kong: It’s no so much Planet of the Apes meets Jurassic Park, as Romeo and Juliet meets Frankenstein .
Like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, Kong’s very existence in the modern
world is a mistake. And like Juliet, young Dwan cannot bring the object
of her affection home to mom and dad without causing a major scene. The
love story is doomed from the outset, untenable, absurd, and
deliciously tragic.

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